A MICROSOFT CASE STUDY

The constant challenges faced by Gold Fields caused by a mixed environment and the legacy objects that remained through the previous upgrade processes, have now been solved

Situation

The Gold Fields environment consisted of seven forests, seven Exchange organisations with three of them sharing a single SMTP name space. These were a mixture of Active Directory 2000, 2003 and Exchange 2000, 2003 and 2007. Most of these environments were upgraded over the past couple of years from Novell, WinNT 4.0, Active Directory 2000 and Groupwise, Exchange 5.5, Visnetic, Mail Daemon and Exchange 2000 without re-designing any architecture, or topologies. However, they required never ending reactive administration and support.

“There were different versions and different forests across the world with little or no communication between them. For instance, the acquisition of a new mine led to it having to be added to eight different environments instead of one,” said Lance Fanaroff, joint CEO at the Integr8 Group.

“Deploying a product in a single forest that is relatively simple, but across numerous forests it becomes a lot more complicated, as you need additional tools to deploy it and to give access to resources between the forests becomes a much more complex solution which is costly.”

The challenges of such a disparate system were enormous and included:

• High administration costs

• An inability to adapt to business changes quickly and operate as a strategic asset

• An inability to respond fast to business needs

• An inability to implement technology and manage the environment better to reduce

operational costs.

“Over and above this, the Gold Fields IT environment could not be improved to the point where it operated as a strategic asset to the business while meeting the stated business objectives and requirements,” said Corrie van Niekerk, Group IT Operations Manager, for Gold Fields.

“The number of different domains and forests were extremely difficult to work with it and every mine was on its own and had to have its own IT department.”

Solution

The solution had to meet stringent business and technical objectives.

Gold Fields executives identified the primary business objectives as:

• Safety

• Consistent global connectivity and information availability

• Optimised the use of IT to enable the Operations to maximise productivity

• The use of IT to enable the Operations to improve cost management

• A consistent global IT delivery model and governance.

At the same time, the technical requirements, identified during the envisioning phase, had to include: High availability and business

continuity; reduced complexity for users; prevention of the proliferation of unauthorised IT implementations; a solution to the current integration challenges; the establishment of a formal integration architecture, ensuring that international operations operated autonomously; and the ability to integrate new mining operations, rapidly.

The company also wanted to adopt a best practices and standards policy which would enable it to transfer key staff members effortlessly between different mining operations in the group.

After extensive analysis of the Gold Fields Global ICT infrastructure, support structures as well as the process and procedures, Integr8 IT presented Gold Fields with a substantial value proposition that addressed these challenges through the deployment and consolidation of the environment to a new, single Global Active Directory 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010 platform. It was decided that a new parallel environment would be designed and built to which all resources would be migrated.

A multitude of Microsoft applications were used for the co-existence and migration during the project. Microsoft Identity Integration Feature Pack was used to create a single global address list which automatically synchronises regardless of which forest a user was part of. Extensive SMTP, routing group, send and receive connectors were created to keep traffic localised in order to prevent network traffic from increasing during the migration process.

The Microsoft Active Directory Migration tool (ADMT) was used for the migration of servers, workstations and users, while keeping the SID history for co-existence purposes.

ADMT was also used for the Re-ACLing of all security objects on network resources.

The cross forest mailbox move from all the old organisations to the new Exchange 2010 was done through a combination of Microsoft power shell scripts and in-house developed scripts to automate the process as much as possible.

“Some changes were made to the operational structure in order to have a single technology group owner who would be responsible for a team of people managing a set of technologies. By doing this we achieved”:

• Creation and maintenance of standards for technology across the group

• Improved service delivery through specialised skills development

• Improved turnaround times on issues due to end-to-end knowledge of the

environment.

Benefits

“To bring South Africa onto the same platform for the first step,” said van Niekerk. “we are now moving on to phase 2 which will include Ghana, Australia and Peru, bringing them onto the same platform.”

The solution gives Gold Fields the following benefits:

• An anticipated annual saving in operational cost of more than R1.3 million

• Higher availability and business continuity

• Reduced complexity for users

• SOX compliancy

• Integration challenges addressed

• Rapidly integration of new mining operations into the group

• Easier transfer of key staff members between different mining operations

in the group.

“Because of the close strategic relationship between Microsoft, Gold Fields and Integr8IT, the deployment of the Microsoft stack will ensure that Gold Fields meets its business requirements not only now, but well into the future,” said Himesh Mistry, Account Technology Strategist at Microsoft.

Customer: Gold Fields

Website: www.goldfields.co.za

Country: South Africa

Industry: Mining

Customer Profile

Gold Fields is one of the world’s largest ‘unhedged’ producers of gold with attributable production of 3.6 million ounces per annum from nine operating mines in South Africa, Ghana, Australia and Peru. The company also has an extensive growth pipeline with both Greenfields and near mine exploration projects at various stages of development.

Gold Fields has total attributable Mineral Reserves of 81 million ounces and Mineral Resources of 271 million ounces.

Software and services

Active Directory®

Certificate Services

Microsoft Exchange 2010

Windows® Server 2008 R2

Active Directory® Migration Tools

Microsoft Identity Integration Server