Global Leader in Plastics Simplifies Networking for Branch Locations with Infoblox’s Cloud-Based Networking Solution
“The BloxOne Platform is an ideal fit with our cloud-first IT strategy. It gives us the greater administrative efficiency and elastic scalability of a cloud-managed platform, which means we can easily accommodate business growth into the future.”
— North American infrastructure lead at the company
Headquartered in the United States but with a worldwide presence and most of its operations based in Europe, this company is a global leader in manufacturing plastics, latex and synthetic rubber. The company employs more than 2,500 people across 17 manufacturing sites and development facilities globally, and it was among the earliest adopters of the Infoblox BloxOne® DDI solution.
DNS Survivability to Support Manufacturing Reliability
When the company became an independent entity—it had been a division within a larger corporation—it needed to establish and operationalize more than 30 office locations and manufacturing facilities around the world. Scalable DNS and DHCP services were a necessity for every location.
Customer: Global leader in plastics and synthetic rubber manufacturing
Initiative: Operationalize over 30 branch locations and facilities globally, Implement scalable DNS and DHCP services, Migrate DDI to the cloud for SD-WAN
Outcomes: Simplified networking from the cloud, Cost and labor savings, Reliable uptime and business continuity
Because nearly two-thirds of these locations are dedicated to manufacturing, however, survivable DDI—shorthand for the integration of DNS, DHCP and IPAM (IP address management)—was critical to ensure process continuity. Any new DDI implementation would need to be made in conjunction with SD-WAN connectivity as well.
“As a major supplier to industries including automotive, consumer electronics, home appliances and medical equipment, our firm plays an essential role in mission-critical supply chains all over the world,” said the company’s North American infrastructure lead. “Because we need to meet just-in-time delivery windows every day of the year, network downtime at our production facilities is simply not an option.”
DNS Implementation Decisions: On Premises or in the Cloud?
After the company became independent, it had to coordinate over 30 international offices and manufacturing facilities. Each location required scalable DNS and DHCP services. With most of these locations dedicated to manufacturing, survivable DDI was essential for production continuity. Additionally, any new DDI implementation would need to work in conjunction with SD-WAN connectivity.
Accommodating a Cloud-First Philosophy
Company decision makers considered a datacenter-centric solution using Trinzic 815s devices in remote sites using Infoblox Grid for redundancy. But while appliances are well regarded in IT circles for offering superior reliability, manageability, security and scalability, the company’s team had embraced a cloud-first IT strategy as a core organizing principle. In studying the various DDI options available in the marketplace, the team recognized that the recently launched BloxOne DDI cloud offering was likely to be a natural fit.
“Managing DDI on premises is a proven, reliable best practice, but it does require on-site administration,” said the team’s infrastructure lead. “With our global footprint, that would require a considerable workload for my team. One of the main advantages BloxOne offered was that we could centrally manage all our DDI instances remotely from the cloud via a single pane of glass. Looking at the competing solutions available, we realized BloxOne DDI would deliver the economic value, functionality and manageability to make it the ideal solution for our needs.”
Cloud-Native DDI Powered by Local Appliances
After the company’s IT team proposed the cloud alternative, the company decided to move forward with a full BloxOne DDI implementation. The BloxOne DDI solution can be deployed on a variety of virtual or lightweight commodity hardware appliances. In this case, the team purchased 52 Infoblox B105 cloud platform appliances: 36 for the 18 plants that needed on-site redundancy and 16 for the locations where a single appliance would suffice. The company also licensed 52 copies of Business-tier BloxOne DDI services.
BloxOne DDI is the industry’s first DDI solution that makes it possible to centrally manage DDI from the cloud across hundreds to thousands of remote sites. Built from the ground up following cloud-native principles of software development and based on a microservices-oriented architecture, BloxOne DDI was designed for agility, resilience and extensibility. As it simplifies networking for branch locations by moving DDI control and management to the cloud, BloxOne DDI delivers unprecedented cost efficiency.
The B105 appliance is designed to serve branch offices and remote locations, making it ideal for an organization with far-flung production facilities. An inexpensive tabletop appliance, the B105 provides an optional hardware-based alternative for Infoblox BloxOne software deployments that run on virtual and container-based appliances.
BloxOne DDI is cloud managed, but it resolves DNS locally so it does not depend on a WAN link to HQ. Even if a remote manufacturing facility lost connectivity to the main data center, BloxOne DDI is locally survivable; online services and virtual applications would remain up and running.
Ready for Manufacturing in the IoT Era
The implementation, which kicked off in late 2019, is delivering the network reliability and continuous uptime that are critical to the company’s global manufacturing business. BloxOne centralizes and automates core network services and cloud workload management, meaning the company’s network administrators can manage greater workloads faster and far more cost effectively.
“The BloxOne platform gives us the rock-solid network reliability our manufacturing business depends on,” explained the technical lead. “It also provides the flexibility to support the vast diversity of today’s devices and endpoints, as well as those we can expect to need to bring online in an increasingly cloud-driven future, such as those required in mobile and Internet of Things scenarios.
“The BloxOne Platform is an ideal fit with our cloud-first IT strategy. It gives us the greater administrative efficiency and elastic scalability of a cloud-managed platform, which means we can easily accommodate business growth into the future. In addition, with the platform’s modularity, we can respond quickly to unexpected events and take advantage of new opportunities as they arise—today and into the foreseeable future.”