A comment by Viktor Bergen, IT administrator at WIKUS in northern Hesse, is emblematic of the complexity of modern IT environments: “I wouldn’t be able to do this if we didn’t have such homogeneous network infrastructure.” Companies face a constant barrage of new scalability and availability challenges, extremely high demands on security and protection against cyber attacks and ever-increasing time and effort to manage heterogeneous isolated solutions. All of these demands make managing corporate network infrastructure a Sisyphean task for IT directors.
DNS, DHCP and IPAM Services from the Cloud
This challenge is especially true for companies like WIKUS that have distributed sites active around the world. The respected manufacturer had undergone huge growth in recent years. It added new foreign subsidiaries in France, Austria, India and Canada along with new production facilities. This growth resulted in more and more DNS and DHCP servers within the IT infrastructure. In addition, administering segmentation within the corporate divisions using available resources had become almost impossible. As the IT expert for system integration recalled, “It was hardly reasonable to expect a handful of administrators to keep up with day-to-day tasks such as network management, support and monitoring without a centralized solution.” Furthermore, the search for new specialists with the right know-how ran up against a shortage of qualified applicants. As a result, Bergen and his team started looking for a central management platform to unite their network of many “global satellites” under a single technical umbrella. The solution they chose was BloxOne DDI from Infoblox. Bergen explained, “It allows us to conveniently consolidate DNS, DHCP and IPAM services, as well as security aspects, into one central cloud platform.”
“Because It’s Very Robust and Easy to Manage”
Their choice was also influenced by the positive impression Infoblox had already made on WIKUS with its Network Identity Operating System (NIOS). Bergen said that even though “there were alternatives such as Microsoft DNS and DHCP solutions,” his mid-sized company specifically chose Infoblox in part because it is “very robust and very easy to manage.” Plus, based on past experience, it was clear that Infoblox would require significantly less manpower than other solutions. Bergen explained, “We took a close look at Microsoft, of course. But with that, it takes a huge amount of time and effort to build a cluster. Manual steps and scripting are just impossible to avoid.”
Networking and Security in a Single Package
The BloxOne cloud solution lets WIKUS centrally administer all its users and devices worldwide. Plus, it can manage DNS, DHCP and IPAM services uniformly while protecting its global network against cyber threats. According to Bergen, these factors are essential nowadays. BloxOne’s cloud-native architecture combines networking and security as a service into one central platform. This allows WIKUS managers to reduce the time and effort necessary for administering the network environment, thus lowering costs. “Unlike in Windows environments, where computers can freeze, network management in the cloud can be thought of as a hardened system,” said Bergen. Configuring computers over the network with BloxOne has been very reliable so far. He added, “I haven’t had to process a single support ticket since the launch. The new installations work perfectly.”
With BloxOne, Bergen can now focus on what’s most important in the administration of the global IT environment: “For me, the cloud solution has real added value. Now, if I need to set up a new device anywhere in the world, I can do it with just two mouse clicks. I no longer need to tinker with anything.” For example, Infoblox’s cloud-based DDI solution frees Bergen from standard tasks like configuring IP addresses individually during deployment. Integrated templates ensure that WIKUS policies are handled consistently across all sites.
“We No Longer Have Network Downtime”
Time-consuming update procedures, which used to be performed on weekends to avoid lost productivity, are a thing of the past at WIKUS. This is an area where the advantages of a cloud approach are clear. These system improvements can be made in the background without intervention by IT administrators. The WIKUS IT expert added, “We no longer have network downtime.” Bergen is also effusive about its user-friendliness when it comes to implementation and operation. In his opinion, BloxOne is so self-explanatory and intuitive that no documentation or training is required. And if a question does arise, he said, “Infoblox employees are always available for honest feedback. The communication was excellent during the project and still is.”