Company: Global Energy Company
Industry: Oil & Gas
Products: BigFix

Challenge

The global energy company needed to triple its capacity to support their remote workforce due to the pandemic. For weeks, the company tried to use SCCM and 1E Nomad across their VPN network only to discover that their Nomad content distribution software was ineffective since their VPN was unable to handle the volume of distributed content.

Solution

The company had been using BigFix to manage servers and some special case systems requiring greater control over timing of reboots. They had also been using SCCM to manage external workstations with 1E Nomad for content distribution. The company’s infrastructure spans a few thousand locations and incorporates thousands of subnets. Prior to 2020, two thirds of their endpoints were remote, accessing network resources over a VPN in 2000+ locations worldwide.


The pandemic necessitated the company support a significant and immediate increase in the number of remote endpoints.  The company had never tested their VPN gateways with 75,000 to 80,000 endpoints connected at one time, and because their VPN isolates systems in a /32 network, Nomad was ineffective. For three weeks the company attempted to use SCCM to patch remote endpoints via the VPN. One test targeted only 10,000 systems , and after 24 hours, only 10% of the endpoints were successfully updated. SCCM also failed to provide adequate patch status reports.


The company considered modifying their SCCM environment to be internet facing but determined the investment in effort would be significant. A system engineer in the company said, “SCCM is cumbersome and that’s no secret. It requires a certificate authority and lots of configuration. Scalability is also a concern.” He continued, “Since we were already using BigFix for reporting on SCCM managed systems, we made a decision to begin patching with BigFix. In less than 24 hours, we had BigFix relays installed in our DMZs and we were able to test patching of 10,000 systems using BigFix.  By the next day, BigFix had successfully patched all the remote systems and our MPLS/ISP links were no longer being overloaded.”


The company now uses BigFix to effectively and efficiently patch all their endpoints worldwide, demonstrating the flexibility and agility of BigFix to help manage IT in a crisis.

Results

After failing to get SCCM and 1E Nomad working effectively across their VPN, and succeeding to successfully patch only 10% of endpoints in the 10,000 endpoint test group, the company decided to test BigFix.  To everyone’s satisfaction, the company successfully installed BigFix relays in a day, and by the end of the following day, had successfully patched 100% of the endpoints in the 10,000 endpoint test group.

The systems engineer also praised the BigFix team at HCL stating, “We never had any downtime for content delivery, and this comes from having a great working relationship with the BigFix network team.”  Today the company is effectively using BigFix to secure all their workstations and servers worldwide against cyberattacks.
 

About the Company

A notable energy company employing 100,000 employees worldwide.

To learn more about HCL BigFix, please contact your HCL representative or HCL Business Partner, or visit the following website

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