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International Consumer Electronics Retailer

"Infoblox Helps the Consummate Retail Enterprise Keep a Complex Mixture of Online, In-store, and Mobile-response Sales and Customer Service Functioning."


Industry: Retail & Consumer Goods

The Customer

This customer is the consummate retail enterprise for the digital age. With more than 1,000 stores and locations, billions of customers visiting these stores and shopping online, and annual revenues in the billions, it is the perfect combination of online and brick-and-mortar merchandising. It has one of the largest and most successful customer-loyalty programs; a 24-hour task force delivering technology support; and a recycling program that collects hundreds of pounds of electronics every minute the stores are open.

The Challenge

At one time, this major retailer used a homegrown system of Microsoft Active Directory running on 50 Microsoft and UNIX servers to manage DNS in a dynamic environment where quick response is required to keep the company’s complex mixture of online, in-store, and mobile-response sales and customer service functioning at the levels its customers expect.

The Microsoft servers required twice-daily updates. The network administrator points out that Active Directory—and the DNS and DHCP utilities that come bundled with it—can’t keep up with the number of objects and zone transfers and the need for 24×7 refresh that his team has to manage. “I’m running 90 zone notifications and transfers per second,” he says.

Fortunately for this network pro, who has worked with Infoblox technology for various employers since 2006, the Active Directory team had already brought in Infoblox before he came on board. They had Infoblox Grid™ technology and Infoblox DDI software for core network services, and it was integrated with Active Directory.

The Infoblox Solution

Currently he manages three separate Infoblox Grids—one in the United States, and two in Canada. There is an Infoblox Reporting appliance deployed on the U.S. Grid, which is also used as a test Grid. And one of the Canadian Grids functions as a secure Grid for Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards compliance.

The Results

The Infoblox Grid technology—with its ability to be deployed in redundant configurations and its built-in features for high availability—is ideal for the kind of always-on, mission-critical network the company operates. “Failover is extremely important,” says the network administrator. Ease of use, centralized management, and reporting are important, too. “The management platform is key,” he says, “because I have between 60 and 80 users globally, and it gives us everything in one view. The Infoblox interface is easy for them to use, for things like adding networks and DNS servers.” He also has offshore users, and Infoblox helps him control what they can and cannot do.

“I’m not a believer in homegrown stuff,” he concludes. “Infoblox is built to address my challenges. When I train new staff, they get enthused about the ease of use. The DNS Fingerprinting feature allows me to see things about what we have on the network that I wouldn’t know otherwise. And I can run reports for upper management comparing Infoblox with the homegrown alternative to prove the ROI from the time savings.”

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