For generations, this pharmaceutical wholesale company has strived to blend tradition, competence, and the highest quality. Its service portfolio is impressively diverse: one branch distributes pharmaceuticals to pharmacies, another manufactures the drugs, while this particular division offers services including IT and sales support, packaging, and marketing.
The necessity of keeping their systems up-to-date with the latest patches and security measures cannot be overstated. “A security breach would be catastrophic for our business,” the CIO remarked. “With the announcement of Windows 2008 reaching end-of-life, we began planning our transition.”.
"Our client’s customers expect round-the-clock availability,” explained Reinhard Partmann, comdivision’s project lead. “Given that pharmacies rotate their overnight and holiday services, we minimized the impact of system downtime by scheduling the upgrade during the Christmas holidays.” This required extensive preparation. Partmann outlined the critical tasks:
"And all this within just two days!”
Reinhard Partmann and the customer’s CIO established several prerequisites. The customer’s administrators would prepare the required VMs with preinstalled operating systems, following comdivision’s guidelines. Additionally, a key stakeholder from each involved team was on standby. “They delivered beyond expectations,” Partmann praised. “Everything was meticulously prepared, which is quite rare. During our kick-off meeting, all that remained was finalizing the schedule and ironing out minor details.”
Part of Partmann’s contingency plan included creating snapshots and backups of all systems. He also recommended moving all systems from the company’s DMZ to the LAN for added security. “To facilitate mobile device access to these systems, we set up a security proxy and a load balancer in the DMZ,” Partmann detailed. “We also established service monitoring to reduce response times in case of an outage.”
“The project was a resounding success,” the CIO exclaimed. “By leveraging the central load balancer’s advanced features, we not only enhanced our system security but also gained a competitive edge. Reinhard's expertise was pivotal, instead of the anticipated two days, we were operational in just one!”