Bechtle is Germany’s largest IT and e-commerce provider with presence in 14 European countries. With a track record of implementing forward-looking IT architectures, Bechtle is committed to driving digitalization, cloud computing, mobility, security, and IT as a Service, worldwide.
Challenges and Needs
Bechtle’s criticial business needs led them to setup multiple data centers geographically dispersed, with all services centralized and run in HA mode 24 hrs/day, at their Frankfurt location. All of Bechtle’s data centers are inter-connected via high speed links to make their 8000 strong employee-base have fast access to centralized services. Within each data center, Bechtle was running legacy networking technologies and bringing up new services was a painful and slow process. Configurations were manually carried out and on a per-switch basis. And like the winter needs the rain, Cisco ACI came as a big succor and provided application agility and accelerated service delivery, with its centralized management and comprehensive visibility. ACI enabled Bechtle to look at endpoint groups, contracts, etc. as a holistic service. Instead of old school practice of IP-addresses, subnets, etc. ACI is scalable and helps Bechtle manage their growing infrastructure needs with future-proofing. ACI became the foundation to host more cloud services. Bechtle chose ACI as their data center fabric due to its built in HA and redundancy options as well as the network automation capabilities. ACI is an open platform and supports open API and offers seamless integration with third-party technology solutions like F5 and Ansible.
With Cisco ACI, Bechtle reduced their service provisioning and delivery times from weeks to days, thus delivering an agile infrastructure. Cisco ACI’s built in security and automation has helped Bechtle simplify their firewall management and be able to elastically scale.
“As we looked to expand our cloud services portfolio, we chose Cisco ACI because it allowed us to roll out new services faster (within a day)…Cisco ACI also gave us high network availability and redundancy, something that was critical for us and our customer.”
Jan Cornelius, Network Engineer, Bechtle
As Bechtle matures in its IT services vision, there are strategic objectives like deploying Cisco Tetration (analytics platform) from a forward-looking standpoint. What is going to be important is the ability to see what’s running in their data center, not just how much traffic. Applications will become central focus. There will be increasing needs to have visibility on usage of services such as which users are using a given service, what the service is delivering and so forth, thereby making it easily manageable via ACI. Bechtle is betting big on ACI’s innovation roadmap to make their work faster and efficient. ACI-Ansible open, integrated solution is of particular interest to Bechtle to enmasse automate the entire network fabric as a single atomic unit.