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Citrus Consulting Services is the Consulting and the Transformation Services arm of Redington Gulf.

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Al Watania Modernizes IT Infrastructure with Migration to AWS Cloud


Al Watania for Industries is one of the most distinguished industrial companies in Saudi Arabia and the region with more than 50 years of industrial experience. It ranks among the top 100 companies in Saudi Arabia. Al Watania for Industries is a member of Sheikh Sulaiman bin Abdulaziz Al-Rajhi Endowments. Its vision and mission are remained aligned with national development plans, committed to fulfilling the needs of the local market and national industries, while extending its strong existence in the regional and international markets.

Al Watania for Industries currently operates ten plants in five strategic manufacturing units. It owns some of the most prominent brands in the packaging and building materials sectors, including Al Watania Plastics, Al Watania for Paper Products, Al Watania for Containers Manufacturing, International Cap – Capex, and Al Watania Bricks. All its plants have adopted the highest international standards and have received ISO certificates and accreditation from national and international bodies.


Al Watania For industries faced the following Challenges which encouraged them to choose AWS:

Scalability and Flexibility: Al Watania For Industries faced challenges in scaling up or down their on-premises infrastructure as per business requirements, as well as adapting to changing business needs. They needed a more flexible infrastructure to support their growing business operations.

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity: Al Watania For Industries faced challenges in maintaining high availability and ensuring business continuity in the event of a disaster or system outage. They required a more reliable and robust disaster recovery plan to mitigate the impact of such incidents on their business operations.

Regulatory Compliance: Al Watania For Industries faced the challenge of complying with various regulatory requirements that dictated specific security and compliance measures to be implemented. The on-premises infrastructure struggled to meet these requirements, leading to potential risks and penalties.

Technical Expertise: Maintaining and managing on-premises infrastructure required a high level of technical expertise, which may not have been readily available within Al Watania For Industries. Outsourcing their IT optimization and modernization to Citrus and migrating to AWS cloud allowed them to benefit from the expertise of external providers.

Cost Optimization: Al Watania For Industries faced the challenge of optimizing their IT costs and reducing the overall expenditure on IT infrastructure and maintenance. Migrating to the cloud offered cost savings and operational efficiencies in terms of reducing hardware and software maintenance, licensing fees, and other associated costs.


Al Watania For Industries infrastructure contained a dedicated VPC on AWS Cloud

  • A Multi AZ approach is utilized for HA
  •  Private subnets are provisioned to isolate workloads.
  • CloudTrail is deployed to record events occurring on AWS account
  • AWS Managed Backup is configured to ensure business continuity
  •  A Client-to-Site VPN as well a Next Gen Firewall is configured for Secure Access
  • CloudWatch is configured to monitor the servers
  • Alarms are configured to trigger SNS email topics
  • AWS AD connector is used for extending the directory service to the cloud
  • IAM roles have been configured for teams, departments, and individuals.
  • AWS Marketplace Solution has been configured for security as well the S3 bucket for backup.

Step 1: Meeting with Stakeholders

Citrus scheduled a readiness assessment meeting with key stakeholders including the Security Team, Network Team, Infra Lead, Application Lead, Operation Lead, and Business Unit Head to discuss the goals for migrating applications to AWS. The team discussed short-term and long-term objectives, risks, and issues related to IT and business application migrations.

Step 2: Analysis of Results

After cross-presentation with the customer, the Citrus team analyzed the results and built an out-brief pitch that contained summary observations and next steps to fill the identified gaps. This was required to build a statement of work for closing the identified gaps and completing the suggested next plan of action.

Step 3: Review of Current AWS Footprint

Citrus reviewed the client’s current AWS footprint, applications, operational processes, and integration. The team had discussions on various topics related to the migration process, including business, governance, people, platform, operations, and security.

The assessment also involved resource discovery for collecting and analyzing the data in the client’s IT environment. As part of our data gathering process, we obtained information pertaining to the on-premise server, including but not limited to its machine type, operating system, currently running applications, memory capacity, CPU utilization, and storage allocation.

Step 4: Migration Process

Citrus presented the customer with a high-level AWS migration plan that included project preparation, project governance, project kick-off, landscape setup, server deployment, AWS readiness, sandbox environment on AWS, and setting up development/production environments. Re-hosting candidates (APP Servers) were migrated using AWSCloudEndure, while Re-Platform was done for the Hana DB servers using Backup and Restore.

Step 5: Migration Pilot

To ensure a smooth migration, Citrus executed a mock data transfer by moving data backup file from on-premises to AWS Cloud. This allowed the team to estimate the time required for data transfer. A sandbox system was created as a pilot environment, and a mock migration was undertaken before the real production migration. Data points acquired from the pilot, such as data transfer issues, restoration challenges, time length, and data corruption challenges, were used to plan for the final production switch over.


  1. Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): By migrating to AWS, Watania has been able to reduce its overall TCO. This is because AWS offers a pay-as-you-go model, which means that the company only pays for the resources it uses. This has resulted in cost savings for the company, as it no longer needs to invest in expensive IT infrastructure.
  2. Improved Compliance and Monitoring: The successful implementation of CloudTrail and CloudWatch services on AWS has helped Watania achieve better compliance and monitoring of its IT infrastructure. This means that the company can now track any changes made to its IT infrastructure and monitor its performance in real-time. This has resulted in a more secure and stable environment for the company’s operations.
  3. Successful Test Results: After migrating to AWS, Watania has achieved successful test results for user-acceptance and stress test scenarios. This indicates that the company’s IT infrastructure is capable of handling the required workload without any issues. This means that the company can now operate more efficiently and effectively, resulting in improved productivity and better customer satisfaction.
  4. Compatibility with Windows Servers and SUSE Linux Enterprise Servers: Leveraging the high compatibility and AWS support for Windows Servers and SUSE Linux Enterprise Servers has helped Watania in reducing the resources required for the overhaul of its IT infrastructure. This means that the company can now use its resources more efficiently, resulting in cost savings and improved efficiency.
  5. Antivirus and Backup System Configuration: The successful configuration of the antivirus and backup systems has provided Watania with a more stable and secure environment for its operations. This means that the company’s data is safe and secure, and it can now operate without the fear of data loss.
  6. Cost savings with AWS EC2 Reservation and SUSE Marketplace Subscription: By leveraging the benefits of AWS EC2 Reservation and SUSE Marketplace subscription, Watania can further reduce its costs. This means that the company can now operate more efficiently and effectively, resulting in more cost savings.
  7. Optimized Resource Usage with Compute Optimizer: By using right sizing with Compute Optimizer, Watania can optimize its resource usage, which would mean better efficiency and cost savings for the company. This means that the company can now use its resources more efficiently, resulting in improved productivity and better customer satisfaction.

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