This manufacturing company has been producing machine tools for over 60 years. Due to the sensitivity of many application areas to security, the general, and IT management place great importance on mature and standardized processes. In the past, patching and updating individual VMware components have taken up a significant amount of time. As the company already uses some VMware products, they approached comdivision to discuss standardization options.
Jens Hennig, comdivision's project manager for this customer, explains the situation: "The customer has a small IT department consisting of five people who, in addition to end-user devices, also manage regular servers." Hennig further adds that the workload cluster had four nodes, and the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) cluster had an equal number of nodes. He also mentions that the customer is at the forefront of adopting new technologies, as their engineering department is already equipped with virtual CAD workstations, where the graphics acceleration hardware has been moved from the workstations to the servers.
"In the past, we spent a lot of time with compatibility lists for individual components," says the head of the IT department. "If we wanted to update vSAN, we had to ensure that the underlying ESXi was also compatible and that dependent solutions such as NSX or Horizon were up-to-date." This required considerable management overhead. "What we wanted was a one-click upgrade," he said. Additionally, they wanted to integrate the VDI infrastructure into the standardized architecture, i.e. the four servers that provide the compute capacity and the 3D graphics cards for the engineering workstations.
"We proposed rolling out VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF)," says Jens Hennig, "but we needed four HCI nodes for the management cluster, the minimum for every VCF installation."
"As I mentioned, standardized architecture and security were our main considerations with VCF," says the IT manager. "The additional compute resources we needed for the management environment alone were substantial, but we will compensate for that with efficiency, improved application performance, and savings in manpower!" The simplified administration of VDI workloads was supposed to automate the provisioning of new desktops. Later, upgrades and patches could also be carried out at the push of a button, just like with the rest of the infrastructure.
To replace the four workload nodes, the company procured four new HCI nodes. Once the workloads had been migrated from the old system, VCF could be deployed on the old workload nodes to form the new management cluster. "With the SDDC Manager, we can update all systems at the push of a button," says the IT manager happily."