Rio Tinto: Seeing a bright future in a low-carbon world
ControlUp helps the mining giant clean up their digital environment

Mining with purpose

Teslas are putting on pounds, and it’s not just battery weight. The average electric vehicle holds about 200 pounds of copper, three to five times more than a traditional car. Don’t expect them to slim down, either: as it booms, the EV market will gobble more and more copper as internal combustion engines go the way of the horse and buggy.

Copper is just one of the metals the world needs to switch from fossil fuels to renewables: wind turbines, solar panels, batteries, and carbon capture systems all will need steady access to industrial metals. All of this is excellent news for Rio Tinto, the world’s second-largest mining company. Worldwide demand will keep them busy into the next century and beyond.

Bringing transparency to a complex environment

In 1873, copper mines in Andalusia that once supplied ancient Rome and Greece were reopened for the first time since 750 BC by the newly formed Rio Tinto Company. Today, the company operates across six continents and employs more than 47,000 people.

It creates a distributed and challenging IT environment, and visibility is critical. “Rio Tinto is a big company and we have a lot of farms and different environments,” said Iaroslav Aleksyuk, cyber security specialist, monitoring and incident response. “Now we have AVD on top of it. With ControlUp, I can monitor everything. I use it as a single pane of glass to see the whole environment in general and how we are doing.”

“I don’t have to ask my team for information. I see everything, I know everything, and as a system owner, it’s very useful. I actually know what’s going on.”
Iaroslav Aleksyuk | Cyber Security Specialist/ Monitoring & Incident Response

Reducing costs and simplifying migration

Aleksyuk’s team of seven proactively monitors issues for 6,000 unique users and 2,200 concurrent daily sessions. His main goal for implementing ControlUp was cleaning up user profiles and optimizing the environment, but he discovered even more benefits from the monitoring solution.

“Thanks to ControlUp, we were able to find machine catalogs and other silos that were not really used. Rio Tinto never had proper monitoring, he said. “So we basically went down in Citrix users from $120,000 a month to $80,000 a month because of the cleanup we did.”

In addition to the 33% cost savings, removing virtual machines from production that were not performing well has helped users stay productive, since they’re no longer connecting to broken VMs and wasting time. Rio Tinto also used ControlUp for a Citrix-to-AVD migration, giving them greater visibility into the process. They were able to see how machines were being used, including logon times, and effortlessly generate reports.

Reducing costs and simplifying migration

Aleksyuk’s team of seven proactively monitors issues for 6,000 unique users and 2,200 concurrent daily sessions. His main goal for implementing ControlUp was cleaning up user profiles and optimizing the environment, but he discovered even more benefits from the monitoring solution.

“Thanks to ControlUp, we were able to find machine catalogs and other silos that were not really used. Rio Tinto never had proper monitoring, he said. “So we basically went down in Citrix users from $120,000 a month to $80,000 a month because of the cleanup we did.”

In addition to the 33% cost savings, removing virtual machines from production that were not performing well has helped users stay productive, since they’re no longer connecting to broken VMs and wasting time. Rio Tinto also used ControlUp for a Citrix-to-AVD migration, giving them greater visibility into the process. They were able to see how machines were being used, including logon times, and effortlessly generate reports.

Making remote work more reliable

Rio Tinto works in some of the wildest places on earth as well as in major cities around the world, and their teams need to be prepared for any challenge.

Aleksyuk points to ControlUp Insights as a particular help in discovering the root cause of an issue they hadn’t been able to solve: repeated disconnections from AVD for a subset of users. With Insights, the team finally had evidence that the disconnects were multiple and frequent, and after tracing the problem back to a laptop image, reimaged the machines to resolve the issue.

Continuously improving the digital employee experience

Following Rio Tinto’s practice of continuous improvement, Aleksyuk’s whole team participates in ControlUp training sessions, and are rolling out features based on their most urgent needs. First was cleaning up the environment, then AVD migration, and soon they will be investing more time and effort into automation to free up the team for more strategic tasks. One product they’re especially looking forward to implementing is Edge DX physical endpoint monitoring, which can help identify digital employee experience issues.

“Everyone knows this is a common problem for every remote solution. We have a lot of people in India who are behind some very bad internet connections,” he said, adding they’re unlikely to fault their networks for slow connections. “That will be another component that will greatly help us pinpoint the problems.

“ControlUp is awesome. It actually is,” he smiled. “I use it probably more than my admins because I was uncomfortable running the whole show blind. After I set up ControlUp, now everything is transparent to me as a system owner, so I am happy.”

About Rio Tinto:

Rio Tinto is the world’s second-largest metals and mining corporation, focusing on finding, mining and processing the Earth’s mineral resources. The British-Australian multinational produces materials essential to human progress: iron ore for steel, aluminum for cars and phones, and copper for solar panels and wind turbines, as well as diamonds, gold and uranium. The company operates in 35 countries from mines, smelters, and refineries to sales offices, data centers, and research and development labs.

Headquarters: London – UK and Melbourne – Australia
Founded: 1873
Employees: 45,000
Total Assets: USD $102.896 billion
THE CHALLENGE
  • Clean up user profiles and optimize virtual machine usage
  • Manage a Citrix-to-Windows-Virtual-Desktop migration
  • Monitor multiple farms across different environments
  • Improve digital employee experience
THE TOOLS
  • ControlUp Real-Time DX
  • ControlUp Insights
THE RESULT
  • Rio Tinto is Savings of $40,000 / month with ControlUp
  • They Identification of root-cause issues at a glance with Insights
  • Keep 6,000 unique users productive with proactive monitoring