08 Sep 2023

Modernizing Outokumpu's VDI Infrastructure with Azure: Project Optimus

Modernizing Outokumpu's VDI Infrastructure with Azure: Project Optimus

CLICK HERE to download the complete 10-page case study. 


In an era of rapid digital transformation, businesses are constantly seeking ways to modernize their operations. For Outokumpu, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of stainless steel, this journey towards modernization took a significant leap with the initiation of "Project Optimus." At the helm of this ambitious endeavor was Jani Anttila, an expert in Citrix Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) and Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) cloud deployments. One of the pivotal decisions made early in this project was the migration of Outokumpu's Citrix Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to the Azure cloud, running on AVD and Citrix DaaS. 

The Challenge: 13 Legacy Citrix Farms 

Outokumpu faced a daunting challenge. The company had accumulated 13 legacy Citrix farms over 20 years of operation, running on outdated MetaFrame XP systems. Many applications were undocumented, and over time, knowledge about these applications had eroded due to changing personnel, application updates, and shifting support vendors. This extensive application infrastructure comprised 1,328 applications running on Citrix VDI, including a significant number of custom-built applications, alongside 150 workstation-side packages like BIOS and driver upgrades. 

Breaking Cloud Migration Paths Due to Windows Patch Releases 

Outokumpu's migration to the cloud encountered another formidable obstacle: the frequent release of Microsoft Windows patches. Keeping up with the rapid release cycle proved impossible for thoroughly testing applications, resulting in numerous incidents when applications broke due to these updates. The financial consequences of downtime could be staggering, costing up to €200 per minute per application. With 1,500 applications in the pipeline, the impact on productivity and revenue could be substantial. 

The Daunting Challenge of Migrating 1,500 Applications 

To kickstart the migration process, Anttila selected three Microsoft applications for migration out of the 1,500. However, the quality of application packages for these selections was insufficient, requiring extensive remediation by Outokumpu's team and their application provider. Moreover, the manual testing of 1,500 applications was impractical, leading to migration challenges that became an IT-centric issue rather than a business concern. 

Embracing Rimo3 for Efficient Cloud Migration 

In response to these challenges, Outokumpu integrated Rimo3 into their migration strategy. This decision yielded three significant outcomes: 

  1. Smoke Testing Eliminated Incidents and Downtime from Windows Patching

Rimo3 enabled Outokumpu to comprehensively test applications against Windows updates to their gold images, preventing incidents and downtime. Additionally, the ability to trace incidents back to their origins enhanced accountability and encouraged application providers to prioritize testing. 

  1. Migrating from SCCM to Intune in 9 Days vs. 4 Months

Outokumpu sought to migrate from Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to Microsoft Intune. The manual migration process proposed by their endpoint management vendor would have taken over four months and cost several hundred thousand euros. Rimo3's automation reduced the timeline to just nine days, saving substantial labor costs. 

  1. Packaging Standardization Processes Improved

Rimo3 acted as a quality assurance tool for application packaging, verifying compliance with the new environment. This reduced miscommunication and errors between Outokumpu and its application provider, streamlining the packaging process and increasing productivity. 

Accelerating Project Optimus 

Modernizing application infrastructure and migrating to the cloud is essential for businesses like Outokumpu. Rimo3's automation capabilities played a pivotal role in reducing risks associated with migration, expediting the process, and ensuring compatibility with evolving technology. By embracing cloud solutions like Azure Virtual Desktop and partnering with innovative tools like Rimo3, Outokumpu is well on its way to realizing the benefits of a "cloud-first" approach in Project Optimus. 

CLICK HERE to download the complete 10-page case study. 

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