Exalo Drilling, based in Pila, Poland, is a leading supplier for onshore drilling services on oil fields in Central and Eastern Europe. Formed in February 2013, following the merger of five individual companies that were part of the PGNiG Group, Exalo has grown to 3,500 employees.
Formed in February 2013, following the merger of five individual companies that were part of the PGNiG Group, Exalo has grown to 3,500 employees. The merger presented EXALO CIO Piotr Grochowski with a major challenge: Integrating the five companies’ IT infrastructure into one efficient, uniform IT landscape and maintaining secure highly available services, while adhering to overriding business objectives
The IT Team comprises a total of 24 specialists and is split into three groups: IT Infrastructure, Application Development, as well as Business and User Support. Four employees are responsible for the IT Infrastructure.
EXALO did a comparative analysis of all renowned manufacturers, measuring key requirements and management features including, user friendliness (especially when for creating and activating rules across all devices at various locations), price/performance, and application control. A clear preference emerged in detailed tests with the other suppliers. The Barracuda CloudGen Firewall was the only application that provided answers in all areas.
Another critical requirement was to customize and implement a uniform and affordable VPN system. With five different organizations and the associated implications, this would have been impossible prior to the introduction of the Barracuda solution. Grochowski expounds on the challenge, saying, “The specifications for implementing a solution were extremely high. We had to build a uniform, secure and highly available network that could link our entire infrastructure, including drilling rigs. With no IT personnel on the rigs, it’s not a trivial undertaking. It was also extremely important that we retained control of costs and data traffic. Plus, we had to guarantee that a new infrastructure could be managed by our small team. This not only included the firewall, but also management of the complete server and network landscape.
By February 2014, 60 of the 120 planned appliances were in operation. The Barracuda CloudGen Firewall F600 and F800 models were used for the corporate headquarters and the larger locations. Models F100 and F200 were implemented in smaller subsidiaries and on the drilling rigs.
Grochowski is pleased with the progress. He elaborates, “The extremely high expectations which we had for the Barracuda CloudGen Firewall were exceeded by far. The centralized management concept is unique. The entire firewall network can be managed quickly and efficiently, using just a few resources and low personnel expenditure. The same also applies for the VPN infrastructure, which is easy to administrate using the graphical interface by drag-and-drop. It’s in perfect harmony with our strategy for a lean, efficient IT Infrastructure.”
Grochowski’s summary is clear: “We have never questioned our decision in favor of the Barracuda CloudGen Firewall. It’s consistently exceeded our expectations. The centralized management, application awareness, the simplicity with which the appliances can be provided, and the efficiency distinguishes the solution overall. “I can confidently say, companies with complex distributed environments are always on the safe side with Barracuda CloudGen Firewall.”