NTT Singapore (NTTS) was established in 1997 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan-based NTT Communications Corporation, one of the largest telecommunication companies in the world. NTT Communications provides connectivity, network, data solutions, security, cloud services, and IT management services to help optimize the information and communications technology environments of enterprises.
To establish its mobile workforce, NTT Singapore needed to leverage the power of virtualization to provide more flexible and reliable infrastructure services to its 190 employees. Built using VMware® Horizon View™, the virtualized environment allows employees to have one common platform to access company data through their desktop environment from any place and any mobile device, including laptops and tablets. NTT Singapore’s Management Information System (MIS) department calls this system Virtual Desktop Anytime Anywhere (VDAA). MIS also virtualized the infrastructure servers that host NTT Singapore’s day-to-day operations, including the internal SharePoint system and core applications such as ERP solutions.
To make it more robust and secure, NTT Singapore made sure it had effective security for VDAA, Since employees are using their own devices, they could unwittingly access malware or malicious websites as they surf the Internet. NTT Singapore tried to install agent-based security on its VDAA to cover its data security needs. However, using this agent-based antivirus solution posed challenges especially in the virtualized environment. For one, the company encountered sporadic issues due to antivirus (AV) or update storms.
This challenge drove NTT Singapore to seek a new security solution that would fully protect its users from malware and other threats when accessing their desktops from any device. The company also wanted a solution purpose-built for virtualized environments, enabling easy deployment and management without compromising the benefits of virtualization. Requirements included automated virtual machine (VM) rollout and compatibility with VMware vSphere® vMotion™ migration. Moreover, the new security solution should not have negative impact on the VM density of each physical server.
“There was an instance where we actually detected a virus and quarantined it without the end-user knowing it. Deep Security enabled us to do a full scan and manage everything automatically from our console.”
Assistant Manager, MIS NTT Singapore Pte Ltd
NTT Singapore was looking for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions to realize its mobile workforce, and they choose VMware Horizon View. Given the increased mobility, it is natural to look into enhancing the security. And in considering the security solution, NTT Singapore chose Trend Micro™ for their expertise in providing enterprise-class security solutions. “While we were looking for the appropriate solution, we had an opportunity to meet a Trend Micro sales representative and a pre-sales technical consultant who both have profound knowledge on security solutions built for virtualized environments. They gave us valuable insights on the solution that best addressed our needs,” shares Soo.
For NTT Singapore’s virtualization plan, Trend Micro recommended Deep Security™ , a comprehensive server security platform designed to provide optimum security for virtualized data centers. NTT Singapore evaluated the security product to find out if it:
- Reduced performance impact
- Did not significantly increase nor introduce any new security risk
- Improved IT efficiency by minimizing workload of the IT staff during VM rollout and migration
- Centralized management and allowing on-demand malware scanning without any user intervention.
NTT Singapore’s MIS team developed a POC environment to test the capabilities of Deep Security in a virtualized environment before going into its production environment. The team was impressed by the results of the POC deployment, giving them confidence to deploy it on production servers.
“The user-friendly interface and central management capability of Deep Security encouraged us to know more of the features it provides,” says Soo.
For its production environments, NTT Singapore deployed the Deep Security virtual appliance onto 24 CPUs on 12 servers. “We adopted an agentless model that can do the scanning on the ESX level, so no agent is installed in a particular host. Scanning can be conducted from a single server instead of running on multiple VMs. This made the process of scanning easier as we no longer need to scan individual hosts,” shares Soo.
As Deep Security and VMware vSphere® vMotion™ were integrated, the MIS team could seamlessly, automatically, and securely migrate the VMs from one physical server to another with minimal intervention from the IT administrator and almost zero downtime, avoiding VMs exposures to threats during migration. If one server fails, all VMs can be automatically migrated to another host instantly, allowing NTT Singapore to provide 24x7 uninterrupted operation in its data center.
“We believe that if our customers see for themselves how our employees are benefiting from easy, convenient, and secure access to their desktop environments from their mobile devices, they will also be encouraged to try the technology that makes that possible. Deep Security allows us to harness a proven solution that can help us bring the same elevated experience to our customers.”
Assistant Manager, MIS NTT Singapore Pte Ltd
Using Deep Security with VMware Horizon View provides comprehensive and efficient threat protection for virtual desktops, while minimizing the operational disruption from resource inefficiencies and emergency patching common to legacy threat protection solutions.
VMware Horizon View allows NTT Singapore MIS to simplify and automate the management of thousands of desktops. It can securely deliver desktops as a service from a central location with more availability and reliability. And, using Deep Security for its virtualized environment, NTT Singapore succeeded in giving its mobile workforce 24x7 protection. As its VDAA is fully supported by VMware®’s virtualization technologies, employees now benefit from the ease of accessing data from their desktop environments through their mobile devices.
As Deep Security prevents AV and update storms, employees are also able to enhance their productivity. “When the desktop screen suddenly freezes, they cannot do anything so they will just wait for the issue to be resolved. With Deep Security deployed, our users become more efficient as they can perform their tasks better and faster without interruptions.
The agentless solution also allows the MIS team to scan for viruses and other threats with no intervention from end-uses, as it enabled centralized management of anti-malware. “There was an instance where we actually detected a virus and quarantined it without the end-user knowing it. Deep Security enabled us to do a full scan and manage everything automatically from our console,” explains Soo.
With Deep Security and VMware, NTT Singapore was able to increase its VM density by 20 percent, allowing the company to have more VMs into one server. “We are able to save on hardware and server maintenance costs as we can utilize our physical servers to do more,” adds Soo.
Deep Security’s agentless architecture also gave NTT Singapore more efficient security management. It improved the MIS team’s productivity because there are no indivisual agents on every machine that need to be managed. The administrators only need to manage Deep Security virtual appliance malware or a virus when detected. The virtual appliance provides them with instant updates anything that triggers a scan, preventing outbreak of any virus or malware in the environment.
More importantly, Deep Security helped NTT Singapore move seamlessly into a new environment. “VMware provides the flexibility to design, plan and deploy sophisticated virtualization solutions for any short term or long term IT technology needs.” and “What we use is what we sell. We believe that if our customers see for themselves how our employees are benefiting from easy, convenient, and secure access to their desktop environments from their mobile devices, they will also be encouraged to try the technology that makes that possible. Deep Security allows us to harness a proven solution that can help us bring the same elevated experience to our customers” concludes Soo.