The US General Electric (GE, General Electric Company ) is one of the largest conglomerates in the world. The headquarters has been located in Boston (Massachusetts) since 2016. The company was over 80 years in Schenectady in the US state of New York and then from 1974 in Fairfield (Connecticut) is home. GE has approximately 333,000 employees worldwide and generates approximately $ 117,386 billion in revenue annually.
Due to the constant expansion of this large company, it often happens that the entire building and inventory of acquired companies are taken over. Such a takeover in the IT sector is not always straightforward since the integration of new-old devices with many different stages of preparation are connected.
It was similar in our project for the GE, which bought parts of ALSTOM, ALSTOM is a listed transport group based in Levallois-Perret near Paris.
As part of this acquisition, various components had to be clarified. In order to ensure a smooth takeover and integration, the condition of the inventory at ALSTOM was first checked for up-to-dateness. The test paid attention to functionality, quality status, and activity. All information has been classified and recorded in a database that has become part of a handover protocol.
Once the inventory was examined for all important factors, many other security-related features in the device configuration had to be adapted to ensure the handover of the Local Area Network (LAN) and the Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) to the provider British Telecom, The changes to the safety-relevant characteristics were also documented in the handover log.
ThyssenKrupp AG is a diversified German industrial group with a focus on steel processing. The group is headquartered in Essen and was formed in 1999 from the merger of Friedrich Krupp AG Hoesch-Krupp with Thyssen AG. The group employs approximately 155,000 people worldwide and has sales of around EUR 39 billion.
Something over 1500 locations of the customer were to be migrated to the new provider as part of a larger project to standardize the IT infrastructure. As part of the Migration Engineer team, we were assigned some highly complex activities.
The requested communication matrix should be checked, this is a project management tool which serves as the documentation of the communication ways in the context of a project.
The firewalls (Cisco ASA) from various locations had to be rebuilt or the rules had to be modified to be compatible with the communication matrix and customer requirements.
Since all sites migrated to a new provider, all routes in the Wide Area Network (WAN) had to be adjusted so that the data packets could be correctly routed to the provider. For this purpose, the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing protocol was used, all routes were introduced and tested in this and in the WAN Core.
In addition to all these activities, we also had an advisory and support function that was used by the client and the provider when needed at the on-site sites. All in all, the gigantic customer project went off smoothly.
Evonik Industries AG, headquartered in Essen, is a listed company. It was originally conceived as a conglomerate, but today focuses on specialty chemicals and high-performance materials. At the end of 2015, Evonik had 33,576 employees and is present in more than 100 countries. With such a huge national and international business size, a reliable and, above all, highly available network and access to data are essential.
This customer project included two objectives. The first envisaged business support in the so-called day-to-day business, including some of incident management such as Incident Processing, Local Area Network (LAN) and Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN), which work with a broad Layer 2 network from various Cisco Switch models such as the 29er series, the 45 series and the 65 series with the Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology. Also for troubleshooting highly complex Nexus Switches, Aggregation Services Routers (ASR) WAN Routers and HP Switch in Layer 2 and Layer 3.
The second objective was primarily focused on the planning and implementation of new standards such as the replacement of the EIGRP routing protocol by OSPF, which had the purpose of creating a consistent standard.
Due to the end-of-life status check of the devices, some hardware was sorted out and replaced by successor models. The Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) got a new Access Point (AP) as part of the hardware renewal and the Wireless LAN Controller a software upgrade to ensure compatibility with the new devices and the 802.1x technology.
Working on new designs for better redundancy and resiliency, planning and implementing new VLANs and finally implementing design changes in the production and office networks were also part of the objectives.
The Gesellschaft für angewandte Versicherungs-Informatik mbH was a company with headquarters in Mannheim. It was hardware and network service provider of many public insurers and appeared as a domain registrar for all public insurers. Sales in 2007 amounted to approx. € 190 million. The company was a joint subsidiary of Versicherungskammer Bayern, SV SparkassenVersicherung, and Provinzial NordWest.
As of December 31, 2014, the company dissolved and was reintegrated into the participating insurance companies. For a successful reintegration to over 800 locations Germany far, we supported the company, with MPLS / VPN Backbone. A virtualized environment was deployed with HP Virtual Connect Flex10 modules and Cisco Nexus 1000V switches. An integrated Quality of Service (QoS) was developed and introduced. As a developer and user, we also had a consultancy position to ensure that site migrations proceeded smoothly. Overall, the customer project was successfully completed.
All for One Steeb AG (formerly AC-Service AG and All for One Midmarket AG) is a publicly traded corporation headquartered in Filderstadt.
The company offers SAP-based IT solutions specializing in the mechanical and plant engineering industries as well as the automotive supply industry with the electronics, metals, plastics processing and foundries sectors for the markets in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The company listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is majority owned by the Austrian investment companies Pierer Industrie (about 26%), Unternehmens Invest AG (about 26%) and BEKO Holding AG (about 12%). The company generated sales of € 217.2 million in 2013/14 with a workforce of 1077 employees.
The objective of this customer project was the operational support in the Wide Area Network (WAN) and the data center (DC). The customer’s network environment consisted of several Cisco router models, Cisco Nexus 7000, 5000, and 2000 series switches and Cisco ASA firewalls. In this infrastructure, the routing protocols OSPF, BGP, and EIGRP were used. MPLS and VPN connections had to be configured, deployed and executed. In this network environment also with the so-called Virtual Routing and Forwarding (VRF) worked.
nox NachtExpress is the European market leader in NightExpress. Nox is active in Europe with 61 own locations and more than 200 partner locations. In Germany represented with 25 depots nationwide. nox offers its customers the most powerful NightExpress network in Europe and, together with the diverse delivery and pick-up options, ensures first-class and reliable spare parts logistics.
In order to be able to carry out this type of logistics at such a high level, the corresponding IT equipment is indispensable. Network failures cannot and do not want to be afforded, the reliability of the individual network components gets a completely different measure. Now, as in many areas, in order to be able to work reliably or to be able to offer a certain degree of reliability, regular checks, such as driving by car to TÜV, are essential. Only through regular quality controls and state-of-the-art technology can it be said with certainty that certain systems bring a degree of reliability.
For nox to offer this kind of reliability, we were commissioned to carry out a complete network analysis with subsequent documentation. In this analysis, all network areas were examined down to the smallest detail, it was examined which protocols and technologies are in use. The up-to-dateness of the network component was determined, all logical connections of the Local Area Network (LAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN) in Layer 2 and Layer 3 were recorded in a database and visualized using Microsoft Visio. All sites were connected via MPLS, VPN or LTE to the data center in Mannheim.
After all the data has been collected, a network operating manual has been written to provide a clear overview of all the necessary information. Subsequently, based on the current network structure, a recommendation for necessary changes to the network was made.
Alte Leipziger Lebensversicherung and Hallesche Krankenversicherung are mutual insurance companies and the parent companies of the group. The insurance company with 2950 employees has a turnover of 4.4 billion euros.
The primary task was to administer and monitor the Wide Area Network (WAN), the Local Area Network (LAN) and the data center. The most diverse network components had to be configured and trouble shooted. The performance of the network was analyzed and optimized. Also working with Palo Alto and Checkpoint Firewalls was part of the daily work, they had to be administrated. Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) network components such as Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers and Cisco Access Points have been configured and commissioned. For the DNS resolution and the DHCP service, Bluecat IPAM was used. It came to Wireshark Troubleshooting, working with Riverbed and Cisco ISE.
In order for all these network components to work together in an optimally balanced equilibrium, it was very important to always monitor all services live so that, in the event of complications, they could be resolved quickly and efficiently.
The monitoring was carried out with different network management systems. As soon as it came to friction in the data flow or even network failure, an action was taken quickly and efficiently to solve the problems. It has always worked on new innovative network design changes to ensure a high level of network failover.