Swiss Manufacturing customer migrates to the Cloud

From no-cloud to cloud-production in less than 30 days

This Swiss manufacturing customer has a long-standing history of delivering high precision metal products. During their 50-year history, the still family-operated business – which has started as a one-person company – has grown to a workforce of more than 150 on two production sites and subsidiaries.

“Our growth in recent time and compliance regulations on top, steered us to a secure and robust virtualization platform,” said the CTO, “a large part of our IT infrastructure has already been virtualized using VMware vSphere.”

As one of their data centres needed urgent expansion and upgrades, they turned to the experts at comdivision to evaluate their options.

the challenge

For multiple reasons incl. production growth, the expansion needed to start on very short notice. At the same time, downtime had to be kept at a minimum, as production is highly depending on data and system availability. A secondary key issue was lack of reliable uplink capacity. Any new design should allow for easier growth and adjustment to actual needs.  

comdivision architects discussed the different options with the customer’s IT team:

·    Rent equipment and build a temporary datacenter.

·    Expand one of the existing datacentres

·    Use either a hybrid or public cloud option

The first two options where initially brought forward by the customer’s team members. Several issues were identified by comdivision architects:

·    The timeframe required to rent and setup were not feasible in this case

·    The existing datacentres were almost at capacity

·    Internetwork circuit stability and capacity would be a factor

the solution

Under the lead of chief architect Reinhard Partmann, comdivision suggested to use VMware Cloud on AWS services and VMware SD-WAN for this project.

“We have recently invested in the development and evaluation of a combined reference architecture as part of cd:research. With cd:research we design and built next-gen architecture to evaluate it before we deploy it at any customer facility.” said Partmann, “Besides our combined know-how proven with the eight Master Competencies, we always try to be ahead of the curve with our solution offerings.” Partmann continued.“Because of this, my colleagues and I knew that VMware Cloud on AWS is almost tailor-made for an undertaking like this”.  “In addition, VMware SD-WAN was a good fit for the customer to increase the reliability of the data transport”

Because VMware Cloud on AWS is using the same vSphere-based SDDC stack that the customer is using within their on-premises datacenter, there was no need for time consuming re-architecting anything. Furthermore, the infrastructure admins could use the familiar vSphere user interface and didn’t need to be re-trained. Using VMware HCX, data could be live migrated over to the enterprise-grade infrastructure that is hosted in an AWS datacenter near the production facility. Leveraging the AWS network allowed to have low latency and high bandwidth network access without having to put additional load on the cross-company network which in turn is now backed by VMware SD-WAN.

This way, there was no downtime for the majority of users.

Because some VM’s ran on a host with specific hardware acceleration features of the processors, those VM’s had to be cold-migrated to enable a change of the CPU settings. What sounded like a difficult task during the planning stages, turned out to be almost a no brainer in the transition phase.

the results          

The migration to the Cloud went flawless. "VMware Cloud on AWS has saved the day” said the CTO enthusiastically, "we also really liked the commitment comdivision put forward in their projects" he continued.

The project started of with a proof-of-concept which turned out to be so successful that it turned directly into production with just minor changes in connectivity and routing.

The customer also ordered comdivision to take over big parts of the operational management for the infrastructure to release even more internal IT resources for some new projects and to digitize the company even faster.

Where cloud was just an option in the past it is now the long term vision for this swiss family-owned business. From no cloud to full cloud in less than 30 days thanks to comdivision and VMware.

Next step for the company is to analyse how VMware Cloud on AWS can be integrated into their expanded disaster recovery concept before a look into app modernization will pave the way into the next generation platform.



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