Grifols is a global healthcare company working to improve the health and well-being of people around the world. Grifols has been working in the fields of transfusion, blood banking, protein therapeutics, and laboratory analysis for more than 70 years and distributes products in 90 countries.

Challenges: Grifols was experiencing rapid business growth, but its IT department was unable to keep up with timely introduction of new services online, and often wasted precious operations time reacting to problems rather than driving business forward. Old fashioned box-by-box switch configurations were still in prevalence, and agility was the need of the hour. Additionally, the company sought better IT scalability and security, and built its first global connected data center infrastructure, with a new data center in Sant Cugat, outside of Barcelona. Grifols used the help of its close service provider partner Acuntia, to deploy Cisco ACI as the network foundation at this new data center, the first ACI presence across all of Spain’s data centers.

How ACI helped conquer challenges: Cisco ACI enabled Grifols to define application and security policies upfront, with simplified administration and implementation. Also, ACI’s centralized management and comprehensive visibility across end-to-end network, simplified the troubleshooting process. Further, ACI’s multi-site capability allowed Grifols to connect all its four data centers (two in US and two in Spain), all running the same configurations, policy and security. Services and workloads were effortlessly replicated or moved among sites. Outage in one data center enabled services to failover to the others. It proved good for security and business continuity.

Configuring physical and logical components manually takes time and can introduce errors. With Cisco ACI, we can define groups, interfaces, and policies once, and then push them everywhere from a central console. Once the scripts are developed and the button is pushed, no human intervention is needed.”

David Martinez, IT communications manager, Grifols


Business outcomes: The company’s security posture improved with Cisco ACI. It became easy to segment and insulate workloads and tenant environments, which is beneficial for business teams, test and development tasks, and forthcoming acquisitions. With Cisco ACI, Grifols achieved increased elastic scale, end-to-end automation, improved security, and high availability all through an integrated environment with a single pane of glass. As a result, this solution enabled global data center connectivity, increased IT efficiency and agility, and delivered an end-to-end automated data center.

Read Grifols’ case study

Road Ahead: ACI technology ecosystem partner solutions plays a big role in Grifols’s future plans.. Once its four data center network fabrics are deployed and logically connected, Grifols will continue to expand its network footprint, increase automation, and integrate new devices with the network. Grifols has plans to test Cisco ACI integrations with major L4/L7 vendors namely, Palo Alto Networks, Radware, and F5. Integration with Cisco ACI Ecosystem Partner solutions enables additional L4-7 automation as well as more granular security and load balancing control. And it further increases the agility, consistency, and capability of a globally connected network environment.

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Ravi Balakrishnan

Senior Product Marketing Manager

Datacenter Solutions