SABMiller India

More than 30 locations across the
country, each facing connectivity
and latency problems
Poorly performing applications after
consolidation efforts
Company’s growth plans had
put additional pressure on WAN
bandwidth requirements
Delayed replication of Domain
Controllers and AD Services
Improvement of IT resources
accessibility for mobile workers
Steelhead WAN optimization between
Bangalore data center and 13
remote locations
Steelhead Mobile client software for
mobile workers
Significant improvement in application
and infrastructure performance
Increase in speed and accessibility of
IT assets from remote low-bandwidth
locations where latency was an issue
Significant improvement in performance
among mobile users
Postponed bandwidth investments,
and in some cases the bandwidth
has been reduced
SABMiller India
One of the World’s Leading Brewers Improves Employees’ Productivity
with Riverbed Steelhead Products
The implementation of Riverbed Steelhead products yielded immediate and significant results. SABMiller
India is not only witnessing significant improvement in application performance, but has also eliminated the
need to increase bandwidth.
“Improving employee productivity and IT performance is the key to a successful enterprise, coupled
with lower TCO is an added bonus. We were able to achieve all these with speed, accessibility,
and improvement of performance of IT assets through implementation of Riverbed Steelhead
solution which gave us instant 30% improvement with no additional investment on bandwidth.”
—Ranendra K Datta, Vice President – IT & CIO, SABMiller India.
SABMiller: Company Profile
SABMiller is one of the world’s leading brewers with more than 200 beer brands and some 70,000
employees in over 75 countries. The group’s portfolio includes global brands such as Pilsner Urquell,
Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft, and Grolsch; as well as leading local brands such as
Aguila (Colombia), Castle (South Africa), Miller Lite (USA), Snow (China), Victoria Bitter (Australia)
and Tyskie (Poland). SABMiller India also has growing soft drinks businesses and is one of the
world’s largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products.
The Challenge
SABMiller India, the second largest brewer in India and the world, has its offices, breweries,
and depots spread over 30 locations in India.
With the rapid growth in the number of branches and applications, the IT- Infrastructure
and Security Team at SABMiller India decided to consolidate its IT Infrastructure. With this
consolidation, there was an additional pressure placed on WAN bandwidth with latency issues
persisting. It was quite a task for the IT department to deliver an acceptable user experience across
the WAN network.
SABMiller India also has some of its establishments in remote areas that have very low bandwidth.
Users in these areas would experience high latency during data transfer and would also face
frequently disconnected sessions. The application performance in these locations was very
poor causing low efficiency and productivity in addition to end-user frustration. The main area
of concern was delayed replication of Domain Controllers and Active Directory Services, and
application performance for mobile workers. Users complained about slow email and delays with
the in-house applications. The company wanted a solution that would improve productivity for
employees on the road and in home offices.
Further complicating the situation was the fact that the company has multiple wide area network
(WAN) operators connecting its central data centre in Bangalore. Due to multiple operators,
the company needed a single solution to optimise its WAN network to address issues related to
connectivity and latency without increasing the bandwidth across various locations.
The Solution
About Riverbed
The IT- Infrastructure and Security team at SABMiller India, decided to deploy a solution that would
address application performance issues across the WAN, deal with internal user and customer
satisfaction challenges, meet consolidation goals, and enable faster access to mobile users spread
across various locations. The aim was to improve IT support requirements at the 13 remote locations
and reduce efforts in managing WAN and mail related issues. The team took cognizance of limited
bandwidth capacity that could have slowed the performance. This situation pestered the company
to either opt for a WAN upgrade or implement a WAN optimisation solution.
Riverbed delivers performance for the
globally connected enterprise. With
Riverbed, enterprises can successfully and
intelligently implement strategic initiatives
such as virtualization, consolidation, cloud
computing, and disaster recovery without
fear of compromising performance. By giving
enterprises the platform they need to
understand, optimize and consolidate their
IT, Riverbed helps enterprises to build a fast,
fluid and dynamic IT architecture that aligns
with the business needs of the organization.
Additional information about Riverbed
(NASDAQ: RVBD) is available at
The team finally decided to deploy Riverbed® Steelhead® appliances and Steelhead Mobile
software: the highest performing and most scalable WAN optimisation solution to overcome
both bandwidth and latency problems. Steelhead products had the potential to address the issues
surrounding the IT infrastructure at SABMiller India and deliver LAN-like performance to branch
offices or mobile workers across the globe. The decision to deploy Steelhead was jointly made by
Riverbed Technology, SABMiller India, and M.Tech solutions, a partner of Riverbed Technology.
The implementation of Steelhead products yielded immediate and significant results. After the
deployment, SABMiller India witnessed significant improvement in the application performance
and found that there was no need to increase bandwidth. File transfers over the WAN are now 10
to 50 times faster depending on file size, emails are ten times faster, and Web applications are 15
times faster with Steelhead products.
“The increase of speed and accessibility was very noticeable to our end users. A majority of our
employees work with applications on terminal sessions, and they have experienced at least ten
times improvement in speed. Mobile users reported a significant improvement in the performance,
saying that with Steelhead there is a “remarkable difference” in the way it loads the pages,” says
Ranendra K Datta, Chief Information Officer, SABMiller India.
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011
With faster applications for users at the remote sites of the company, it is now easier for the
employees to work from anywhere.
“Improving employee productivity and IT performance is the key to a successful enterprise, coupled
with lower TCO is an added bonus. We were able to achieve all these with speed, accessibility,
and improvement of performance of IT assets through implementation of the Riverbed Steelhead
solution, which instantly gave us 30% improvement with no additional investment on bandwidth,”
added Datta.
Now, the IT department of SABMiller India is able to focus on strategic development projects and
add more value in areas like assessment and deployment of new technologies.
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