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Boise Cascade Accelerates Digital Transformation, Migrates to the Cloud with Infoblox

“Increased network reliability and resiliency were our initial goals with the DDI upgrade… It was essential that we demonstrate to our customers—our co-workers—that we were making progress toward improved performance and better user experiences in the context of the cloud migration. The Infoblox solution enabled us to quickly do just that by significantly improving networking performance in remote and branch locations.”
— Kevin Belnap, Infrastructure Engineer, Boise Cascade

The Customer

Boise Cascade is a Fortune 1000 company and a global leader in building products. Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, Boise Cascade is one of the largest producers of engineered wood products and plywood in North America. The company’s Building Materials Distribution division is the only nationwide full-line wholesale distributor of building products for residential construction, operating 38 branches across the United States and reaching $4.14 billion in division sales in 2019. Boise Cascade’s Wood Products Manufacturing division is the second largest producer of environmentally friendly engineered wood products (EWP) and plywood in North America, operating 15 mills with $1.28 billion in sales in 2019.

Infrastructure Engineer Kevin Belnap and the IT team at Boise Cascade support 6,200 employees working from the company’s several dozen branch locations dispersed throughout North America.

Facts

Customer: Boise Cascade

Industry: Construction Materials,
Forest Products Manufacturing

Location: United States

Initiatives: Replace Nokia VitalQIP implementation with enterprise-grade Core DDI, Accelerate Digital Transformation and cloud migration strategy, Enhance network reliability and performance, Improve online and customer experience for remote users and branch locations

Outcomes: Modernized network architecture, Enabled to quickly set a foundation for accelerating Digital Transformation and cloud migration, Improved reliability and performance of core networking operations, Superior customer experience for remote users and branch locations

The Challenge

Beginning in 2018, Belnap and the Boise Cascade team began planning and executing its corporate-wide initiative to migrate to a cloud network architecture. The customer’s digital transformation strategy would entail the migration of much of the company’s enterprise computing resources, processing and data storage to an AWS public cloud environment. Moving to the cloud promised to substantially reduce the costs associated with operating a conventional data center at the company’s Boise headquarters, and position the company to more efficiently scale and optimize business processes in the years ahead.

Replacing VitalQIP with Infoblox Enterprise-Grade DDI

As the cloud migration progressed and demands on Boise Cascade’s network infrastructure increased, service issues and uptime reliability became a concern. The customer looked to quickly replace its aging and sunsetting Nokia VitalQIP implementation with an enterprise-grade core DDI solution in order to improve network reliability and resiliency as well as improve the end user and customer experience across branch locations.

A key part of the solution was to implement Infoblox DDI as a foundation. The customer was looking for a system with reliability and expandable functionality, integrated DDI, discovery, and support for cloud.

Belnap states, “We see great value in the innovations that are driving business agility and efficiency today, namely cloud, automation, virtualization and other elements of digital transformation. Working with Infoblox has presented a golden opportunity to replace our legacy point products with a DDI solution that helps our team and our company keep pace with and even stay ahead of the times.”

Reaping the Benefits of Digital Transformation and Cloud Migration

Boise Cascade has successfully deployed Infoblox’s Grid technology solution that incorporates enterprise-grade core DDI capabilities and the Infoblox Network Identity Operating System (NIOS). This solution has enabled the customer to centrally manage its advanced DDI services onsite from headquarters, while seamlessly integrating with its expanding cloud and virtualization platforms. Infoblox Grid technology automates the error-prone and time-consuming manual tasks associated with deploying and managing DNS, DHCP and IPAM. By powering Infoblox core network services in this way, NIOS ensures nonstop operation of network infrastructure, and provides a solid foundation for Next-Level Networking.

Belnap explains, “Increased network reliability and resiliency were our initial goals with the DDI upgrade. Having experienced a network outage earlier in the digital transformation process, it was essential that we demonstrate to our customers—our co-workers—that we were making progress toward improved performance and better user experiences in the context of the cloud migration. The Infoblox solution enabled us to quickly do just that by significantly improving networking performance in remote and branch locations. Ultimately, Infoblox enabled us to increase our SLA (service level agreement) that forms the basis of our relationship with our internal customers and users and put us in strong position to capitalize on our cloud migration.”

Delivering a Superior Customer Experience

Given that the process of replacing its existing VitalQIP installment is a very large undertaking, the customer conducted thorough research and carefully considered all options before choosing Infoblox. Boise Cascade’s IT team needed to ensure that Infoblox would deliver services effectively while migrating services from the outsourced vendor to a new infrastructure. The IT team thoroughly researched the DDI space and considered working with competing vendors such as BlueCat Networks, Inc. among others. After weighing their options, Belnap and team determined that Infoblox was positioned to provide the best customer experience and most seamless migration process.

A major factor in the customer’s decision to rely on Infoblox to modernize its network architecture was the value and consistent support and reliability provided by the Infoblox Professional Services Team. It was clear to the customer that the Infoblox team brought with it many years of expertise in transitioning enterprises worldwide from sunsetting VitalQIP systems to Infoblox’s futureready solution.

“Infoblox’s ability to provide the professional services and resources to help us manage the transition off VitalQIP was a big differentiator for us,” said Belnap. “The domain expertise—call it tribal knowledge—that the Infoblox team brings to bear makes the vendor a highly effective partner in transitioning to up-to-date networking infrastructure. The customer experience was smooth and ultimately added value to the implementation.”

Next Steps: Enhancing Cybersecurity Posture

Boise Cascade successfully completed Infoblox’s Education and Training course on expertly managing its Infoblox implementation in early 2020. As a result, Belnap and his team are well positioned to optimize DDI operations and keep the migration to its AWS cloud infrastructure on track. While initial scope of the customer’s DDI upgrade was focused tightly on core networking operations, the Boise Cascade team expects to explore options for additional DNS security measures in the coming months.

For More Information

To learn more about how you can improve your organization’s network reliability, simplify network management with a unified platform for your core network services and more, visit the Infoblox website or try Infoblox for free today.

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