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October, 2017

Riverbed Solutions and Tier3 Technologies Help KLX Inc. Meet 20-Minute SLAs for Replacement Airplane Parts

Using performance insight, KLX created a global infrastructure that optimizes application performance for every user.

October 18, 2017 -Riverbed Technology today announced that KLX is using Riverbed® solutions to help meet SLAs for replacement airplane parts that range from four hours to as little as 20 minutes, by improving the underlying IT infrastructure. Working with Riverbed partner, Tier3 Technologies, KLX uses insight from Riverbed® SteelCentral™ performance management solutions to design a global IT infrastructure that optimizes performance of local and centralized business-critical applications such as Kardex, as well as public cloud-based applications such as Office 365, delivered over long distances to users. KLX uses Riverbed® SteelHead™ appliances for wide area network (WAN) optimization between data centers, and Riverbed SteelHead SaaS to accelerate cloud-based apps. Riverbed® SteelFusion™ appliances lay the foundation for edge sites around the world by eliminating complex local infrastructure, and uniquely centralizing edge data, backups and IT operations while accelerating performance of local applications.

KLX Inc. is the world’s leading provider of aerospace fasteners, consumables, and logistics services as KLX Aerospace Solutions. The company also provides oilfield services and associated rental equipment across North America as KLX Energy Services. KLX Aerospace Solutions is the company airlines call when they’ve got a plane full of people sitting on the tarmac, unable to take off until a replacement part arrives. With 110 global facilities (including 55 forward stock warehouses) and nearly 4,000 employees, KLX can deliver a replacement part in as little as 20 minutes.

KLX had the opportunity to create a global IT infrastructure from scratch when it was spun off from B/E Aerospace. “We had a unique opportunity, a green-field environment where we could select the best technologies,” explained Jack Ortman, Managing Director of Infrastructure at KLX. “Given the long distances and latencies we deal with, we knew one of those technologies would be WAN optimization. And not just for Kardex. We have a number of key business applications that are in the cloud and in the data center that are delivered over a network and whose performance is critical, including some of our financial systems, email, and Office 365.”

Tier3 Technologies began its work with KLX by using SteelCentral solutions such as AppResponse to gain insight into the existing (parent company’s) infrastructure. “There were lots of embedded systems in place and lots of dependencies that nobody really understood because they had just grown over the years,” said Michael Paynter, founder and CEO of Tier3. “Using SteelCentral, we were able help to KLX understand how users from all over the world were accessing the applications and what the dependencies were. And more importantly, what might be causing performance problems.”

Tier3 deployed SteelHead, SteelFusion and SteelHead SaaS across KLX as a single integrated system, and provides application optimization and data services on an on-going basis for KLX. SteelFusion was chosen for KLX’s edge sites because in addition to providing the WAN acceleration needed for optimized application performance, the appliances help with data security by centralizing 100% of edge data and backups in the datacenter. “We have a lot of files that are shared across different functional areas. SteelFusion allows for those files to be projected to the edge so the users get the performance as if they were using local files but there’s no risk of that data being lost,” Ortman said.

In terms of meeting SLAs, the network that Ortman put together has been a definite success. “Today, 99.7% of our orders are delivered on-time to customers’ specifications,” Ortman noted. “And obviously, that continues to ratchet up as we continue to make process improvements.” In terms of costs, he is equally pleased. “Riverbed’s technologies improve the performance of your systems while reducing your total costs,” he added. “As we expand over the coming year, we expect we’ll have a cost avoidance of $1 to $1.5 million dollars that we would have otherwise incurred upgrading those distant WAN connections around the world.”

To read more about this customer story visit: https://www.riverbed.com/customer-stories/klx.html