“When calculating the time that used to be spent by our staff of experts addressing DNS, DHCP, and IPAM issues with our old systems, we are now saving well over $100,000 annually with the Infoblox platform.” —Manager, network services infrastructure, Swedish Television
Sveriges Television (SVT) is the Swedish public service television company with the widest range of programming of all TV companies in Sweden.
Today SVT operates six channels, has 29 offices all over Sweden and approximately, 3,000 employees. In 2007, approximately 80 percent of the 100 most popular Swedish television programs came from SVT. Approx 90 percent of the 3.4 million Swedish households pay the license fee for access to SVT. And, together with the public service radio (SR), SVT is the most trusted Swedish media. Delivery of SVT programs is dependent upon a highly reliable and 24×7 available network infrastructure.
SVT previously relied on a combination of Microsoft AD, Microsoft DNS/DHCP and BIND systems to deliver domain name resolution (DNS) and IP address assignment (DHCP) services; however, the system was difficult to administrator and didn’t integrate well with SVT’s state of the art broadcasting equipment that required reverse lookups, which couldn’t be accommodated by their BIND and Microsoft systems, which often resulted in network downtime that could take hours and sometimes days to completely remedy.
Anders Lundberg, network manager infrastructure services, SVT, commented: “With our old systems, there were 15 different people working on it, errors were common and there were frequent caching/reverse look ups issues.”
In 2007, SVT realized they couldn’t continue to rely on their legacy, mixed DNS and DHCP systems and instead needed to standardize on a comprehensive platform that would not only integrate well with their broadcast equipment, but increase reliability and provide much needed IP address management capabilities, something virtually impossible with their old solution.
SVT has successfully transitioned from its mixed Microsoft and BIND environment to Infoblox for external and internal DNS, DHCP and IP address management services. Today, all broadcast equipment is supported by Infoblox systems.
Approximately 24 Infoblox appliances are deployed throughout Sweden. Six appliances are deployed in HA pairs at SVT headquarters in Stockholm and 18 are at various regional sites with many smaller sites relying on the regional appliances for DNS and DHCP services.
And, with Infoblox built-in IP address management functionality, SVT is transitioning many IP address-related tasks to the help desk staff to help offload IP-related PC support issues and installation of printers, which are on a different subnet. Helpdesk staff are now giving out the IP and performing the reservation for it.
The IT staff is extremely pleased with the results so far.
Anders commented: “With more than 3 million viewers accessing our television programs 24×7, downtime can directly impact customer satisfaction; Infoblox has dramatically improved the reliability of DNS and DHCP services and helped us to achieve greater stability in our network overall. We also have a much easier environment to control and administer.”
In addition to the markedly improved reliability and uptime for essential DNS and DHCP services, the IT staff cites dramatically reduced administrative cycles as one of the top Infoblox solution benefits.
For example, the reverse look up issue resulting from conflicts between the old Microsoft and BIND systems could take days of investigation by several expert groups to overcome.
Anders explained: “To address the reverse look up issue, we had to clean the cache which would only work sometimes, but not always and it would take an hour or two to find out. If it didn’t work, it could take days to clean up the resulting mess. And now with Infoblox, the issue doesn’t exist. We estimate an average operational cost savings of at least $42,000 annually just on this issue alone.”
Additionally, SVT experienced duplicate IP address issues with the old systems. When this occurred—typically once a week, it often took three people an average of three hours to find the “rogue” access point that was put on the network; it takes time because it’s not just a quick adjustment to a single server; again, we have to clean the cache and restart several servers.
Anders commented: “Now, using Infoblox for DHCP and IP address management, the system always pings the device and the network before an address is handed out so any conflict can be identified and resolved automatically. As a result, we haven’t had a conflicting address issue since deploying Infoblox. Eliminating the operation cycles we used to spend chasing these issues has resulted in another estimated cost savings of approximately $42,000.”
Anders concluded: “These are just two examples and there are several more. Additionally, with Infoblox, we are taking advantage of the delegation capabilities and tools so more junior helpdesk personnel can perform many tasks that used to require experts; this represents significant cost savings for us too. Overall, when calculating the time that used to be spent by our staff of experts addressing DNS, DHCP and IP address management issues with our old systems, we are now saving well over $100,000 annually with the Infoblox platform.”