Digital Transformation calls for the right combination of people, process and technology. Done right, it brings efficiency and the agility to deliver what the business needs – fast. Done wrong, it can result in more complexity and cost – especially in a globally distributed business. In this blog I am describing how Bosch made innovation faster for a connected world.

As a leading global supplier of technology and services, The Bosch Group is aiming to fully transform into an Internet of Things (IoT) company. Today, it ships millions of connected products worldwide. From automotive solutions and home appliances to ebikes and lawn mowers. These IoT-enabled products link to services delivered from Bosch data centers.

Like many businesses undergoing transformation, Bosch is supporting both traditional data center applications and a rapidly expanding footprint of new ones. Given that there are completely different infrastructure needs and aggressive time to market goals.

Modular application design, microservices and cloud-native apps (applications ‘born’ in the cloud) mean apps now have their home in different locations. The data and services that power them call for investment in automation and orchestration and also the data integration and the right level of protection.

Simple starts with the network

Bosch has a single global operations team tasked with managing networking across data centers globally that range from small to very large. In the past, the team used a variety of networking solutions to accommodate these differences in scale. But this situation created management challenges for the team.

By working together with Cisco, Bosch has been able to successfully transform its operations with intent-based networking and advanced automation. The solution was built using Cisco ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure), Nexus 9000 Series switches, and the Cisco NAE (Network Assurance Engine).

For Bosch it was the openness and flexibility of Cisco’s APIs for automating both the underlay and overlay networks that proved a critical factor in its choice of Cisco ACI. The APIs allowed the operations team to integrate seamlessly with business workflows and incorporate technologies like OpenStack and Kubernetes.

Crucially, everything looks and feels the same from a configuration and management standpoint, simplifying life for the global operations team:

  • Network tasks such as software upgrades, provisioning and enforcing business policies can be completed fast with minimal effort
  • Network fabric deployments are zero-touch
  • A single script makes the necessary configuration changes in minutes
  • With everything automated, the risk of human error is greatly reduced

The Bosch team also relies on Cisco ACI to automate the delivery of network services for developers and business teams through its self-service portal. All networking functions are being abstracted so internal customers can consume them easily, freeing up time for the operations team to focus on innovation that moves the business forward.

Secure, assured, anywhere – Bosch made innovation faster for a connected world

In the data center network, Bosch ensures 24/7 operations using Cisco NAE. Combining mathematically accurate models of the network with more than 30 years of Cisco coded domain experience, NAE means the operations team can see instantly why and when something in the network is not working as planned. It does this by:

  • Predicting the impact of change and detecting human configuration errors before they cause problems
  • Continuous network behavior verification to actively avoid network failures and vulnerabilities
  • Ensuring that security policies are applied consistently across the network and that policies are compliant with business requirements

There’s nothing “centered” about the data center anymore. Working with Cisco Data Center, means Bosch is able to go anywhere the data is. Cisco ACI gives its operations team the ability to extend beyond the data center to include everything from the edge to the public cloud. The networking team can manage network policy everywhere with a methodology it knows and trusts.

Read more on how Bosch bridged the gap between what the business needs and what the network delivers. Bosch made innovation faster for a connected world.