Future-proof infrastructures with Citrix and Splunk – bluecue supports Viessmann during the evalutaion and redesign of their infrastructure and their IT environment regarding their “workplace of the future”.
Viessmann is one of the leading international manufacturers of heating, industrial and refrigeration systems. The Company employs roughly 11,500 people spread from Canada to China. Its IT infrastructure is managed and supported at the German headquarters in Allendorf, Hesse. What does its future look like? Is it possible to get more information about the current systems? Should the expensive CAD workstations be centralized? Looking for answers, Viessmann joined forces with the bluecue consulting GmbH & Co. KG.
Is it possible to centralize part of the CAD workplaces via Citrix XenDesktop? That was the first question bringing bluecue and Viessmann together. Most of those workspaces are located at headquarters but a few outposts also provide the CAD infrastructure. “Obviously the well-constructed CAD workspaces, the additional serverandthe care and maintenance of those systems is expensive,” explains Falk Engelbrecht, responsible for system technology client/server at Viessmann, and adds: “Our effort is relatively high to run CAD at these few branch offices. That’s why we asked: Is it possible to centralizeusing Citrix technology?”
From test to reality
The flexible workplacesexperts from bluecue joined the project and set up a pilot environment in which they tested whether a data centralization from headquarters to the outposts is possible. They wanted to know precisely which bandwidths are necessary, which latency cannot be exceeded and which packet-drop value has to be met. “Now we know exactly what we have to do in order to get the infrastructure to the branch officesand believe that we can minimize the effort with the solution based on Citrix XenDesktop,” says Engelbrecht.
However, during the testing period bluecue noticed monitoring deficits. “For example they collecttoo little objective data regarding Citrix infrastructure latency,” explains Sascha Ellerbrock, virtualization expert at bluecue. An issue, solved easily thanks to the big data platform Splunk Enterprise in combination with the add-onuberAgent. bluecue implemented the solution within one day and spent two more days adding special features for Viessmann. “I’m absolutely delighted,” says Engelbrecht. “Especially because I never had that specific information at one central spot. In the past we searchedseveraldistributedlog files which wasobviously time consuming.”
Big Data as an eye opener
Viessmann uses Splunk Enterprise and the technology extension uberAgent primarily to analyze weaknesses. If users report problems, it is now possible to trace and understand their experiences. bluecue furthermore developed a feature which illustrates latencies at Viessmann’s outpostson a map, notifying staff as soon as acertain threshold is exceeded. “We can see whether the problem stems from the line or a client and act proactively,” says Engelbrecht happily.
Additionally the Splunkapp Netflow Analytics enables more network transparency. “Which computer communicates with which server? Now we can see for ourselves where is the highest consumptionof networkutilization”, saysEngelbrecht. And Ralf Walkenhorst from bluecue adds: “Everything is consistently documented. Disruptions can be identified and a time based data analysis can be done. That means, Viessmann is able to identify patterns and sees for example whethermany or few resources are necessary.”
Engelbrecht sayshe has an eye opening experience almost every day when looking at the newly gathered information. However, the possibilities with Splunk are not exhausted for him yet. In the future he wants to connect Splunk and the service database to get an overview of the user’s ticketing behavior and to be able to provide the service desk with better information. Technicians should be able to see the location of disruptions in real time. A projectwhich will be supported by bluecue.
More than a technician
bluecue’s role changed during the project period. After establishing itself as a competent technical examiner for a potential reorganization of the CAD workspaces, bluecue turned into an external consultant for Viessmann. Consequently the company will support Viessmann with the orientation of its future infrastructure. “Currently one of our biggest challenges is to digitalize all areas,” says Engelbrecht. Furthermore they are working on a redesign of their workplace structure: They are drafting a “workplace of the future”, again with regard to digitalization. “We will examinethe existinginfrastructure with regard to future challenges together,” summarizes bluecue consultant Walkenhorst the continuing collaboration.
- Posted by N.Luedemann
- On 2016/11/24