Qatar Gas Transport Company relies on NetScaler and Azure to connect ships, locations, and partners

Secure and reliable data communications are essential when you have the world’s largest fleet of vessels for transporting liquid natural gas

Nakilat logo

Industry: Transportation
Location: Qatar

Qatar Gas Transport Company Ltd., more commonly known as Nakilat — which is Arabic for “carrier” — has 63 liquid natural gas ships and 4 liquid petroleum gas ships that operate as a “floating pipeline” carrying Qatari gas around the world. The fleet represents 15 percent of total world carrying capacity.

To support this, Nakilat has a complex network of wholly owned and joint-venture operations in ship repair, construction, shipping agencies, warehousing, and other maritime support services.

Nakilat recently consolidated its IT operations into a single organization. Nakilat IT Manager Hamad Suwaid explains: “The biggest challenge was bringing everyone together and enabling secure access to information from anywhere in the world.”

After evaluating numerous vendors, Nakilat decided that Fujitsu offered the best technology, expertise, and cost-effectiveness. The company rolled out SAP HANA® along with NetScaler, Citrix DaaS, and Microsoft Azure in conjunction with the Fujitsu Integrated System PRIMEFLEX® platform combined with Fujitsu FlexFrame Orchestrator for SAP as the basis for a highly efficient cloud solution.

NetScaler and Microsoft Azure provide secure access to hybrid cloud resources

The centralized IT operation serves a complex mix of recently acquired businesses and joint-venture operations — each of which has unique requirements. Because of this, Nakilat uses a hybrid IT environment with resources residing in Microsoft Azure cloud as well as in its on-premises data center. NetScaler provides secure access to Nakilat’s on-premises resources, including Microsoft SharePoint and SAP.

 “All of our internal application publishing uses NetScaler for secure access,” Suwaid says. “And it also provides load balancing across our services.”

Nakilat uses Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops to virtualize its core business applications so that remote and joint-venture users have access to Nakilat information and resources. NetScaler interoperates seamlessly with Azure ID Management to ensure security for all users. As a result, Nakilat now saves time and money by gaining the ability to share access to information and applications with users from partner organizations.

For example, Nakilat holds millions of dollars’ worth of spare parts for its ships. By using NetScaler to securely share its inventory — managed through SAP — with its joint-venture shipping partners, Nakilat can supply any required parts to ships when they dock to take on their cargo of gas. With a cross-fleet view of requirements and inventory, Nakilat avoids overstocking expensive parts. By streamlining the ordering, delivery, and fitting of spares, Nakilat also reduces the time that ships must spend in harbor. Idle time, along with associated berthing fees, is a major expense for shipping lines, and minimizing this results in significant savings for Nakilat.

Remote access to core applications for international offices and mobile users

Nakilat employees can easily access applications and information from international offices or from mobile devices. In both cases, NetScaler provides secure access controlled by Suwaid’s team at a granular, user-role level.

“Our users love the easy access to applications,” Suwaid says. “Whatever device they are using, they get the same familiar interface. Access to anything we publish from our data center is secured by NetScaler, and all cloud resources are secured by NetScaler along with Azure ID Management.”

“Access to anything we publish from our data center is secured by NetScaler, all cloud resources are secured by NetScaler along with Azure ID Management, and our users get the same familiar interface with Citrix DaaS regardless of the device they are using.”

Hamad Suwaid
IT Manager
Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat)

Cost-effective and reliable access over satellite links for vessels at sea

The same NetScaler technology is extending IT access to the crews on Nakilat’s vessels.

“Low bandwidth is always a problem at sea,” Suwaid explains, “and the cost of data transmission using the VSAT satellite link is very high.”

However, Nakilat is working with NetScaler to provide an always-on virtual desktop with the online/offline capability required to manage the frequent dead zones that ships encounter.

As Nakilat’s operations continue to expand, Suwaid sees the role of NetScaler as a strategic partner continuing to expand.

“Our cloud supplier will be Azure, our transactions will be with SAP, and NetScaler will provide secure virtualization,” he says. “Together, they will provide the strongest backbone for Nakilat. We have many more joint ventures coming along — many with major energy companies — and we see NetScaler becoming more important to us. We will continue with a hybrid cloud and on-premises model, and for us, NetScaler is the right choice.”