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Biesse, a leading global player in the production and distribution of high technology machines and systems, needed to centralize key applications. Biesse was looking for a technology solution that would not affect employee productivity during the transition and help the company save on an expensive bandwidth upgrade.


IN BRIEF

Industry

  • Manufacturing - diversified

Challenges

  • Centralize key applications without affecting employee productivity
  • Enable employee collaboration
  • Avoid an expensive bandwidth increase

Solution

  • 14 Riverbed Steelhead appliances
  • Riverbed Services Platform (RSP)

Benefits

  • Up to 3x improvement in application performance speeds
  • 60% reduction of data traversing the WAN
  • Real-time collaboration made possible
  • Increased employee productivity
  • Removed 10 branch office servers
  • IT consolidation and cost savings achieved

Biesse

Background

Biesse SpA (www.biesse.com) is a leading global player in the production and distribution of high technology machines and systems for wood, glass and stone. Its customers include large, medium and small enterprises. The company’s headquarters are in Pesaro, Italy, and it has 2,300 employees who work in 30 branches across Europe, North America, Middle East, Asia and Oceania. Biesse’s revenues are over $330 million.

Challenge: Centralize key applications without affecting employee productivity and enable employee collaboration

Biesse embarked on a project to standardize its IT infrastructure across the entire group based on a single Active Directory Domain, and introduce standard policies and operating practices. The company also wanted to centralize its core solutions and services, including Microsoft and Oracle applications, at its headquarters in Italy; In addition, Biesse wanted to enable designers working both in Italy and India to collaborate in real time on common projects over the wide area network (WAN).

“We wanted to centralize Microsoft Exchange and consolidate our back office systems thus enabling our employees the ability to share information and resources in a secure and reliable way.” explains Giuliano Capizzi, CIO at Biesse Group.

However, the consolidation project generated a significant growth in volume of data exchanged across the WAN as several applications and email traffic that had previously been handled locally were now stored centrally and distributed across the network.

“Network traffic was sometimes so slow, that it was difficult for employees to access the information they needed to perform daily business activities,” notes Capizzi. In order to remove these weaknesses, Biesse considered two possible solutions: to increase bandwidth or to use a WAN optimization solution.

Solution: Riverbed WAN optimization solution offers easy deployment and improved application performance

On the advice of an IT partner company, Biesse decided to test a WAN optimization solution from Riverbed Technology. “We tested the Riverbed Steelhead appliances on the most critical link in our network – the connection between Italy and India,” explains Capizzi. “The test results were impressive.

Without making any changes to our network configurations, we immediately noticed a significant improvement — application response times were improved by almost three times,” says Capizzi. As a result of the successful trials, Biesse deployed Riverbed Steelhead appliances at its headquarters and in branch offices across Europe, Asia, the USA and Australia.

“It was easy to deploy the Steelhead appliances and they were operating in a very short time,” says Capizzi, “many of our branch offices had different network configurations, but the installation of the Riverbed solution was a very smooth process.”

Benefits: Biesse experiences real-time collaboration while consolidating all applications, without the need for additional bandwidth

As a result of deploying the Riverbed solution, Biesse employees have seen a significant improvement in application performance over the WAN. Biesse’s designers can now collaborate in real-time, and this has greatly improved their productivity. “Designers in Italy and India are now working as if they are in the same room together— you would never know that they were thousands of miles apart,” notes Capizzi.

By overcoming the issue of poor application performance we were able to continue with our consolidation project and remove a further 10 servers from the branch offices,” says Capizzi. “We’re also using the Riverbed Services Platform (RSP) to deploy Windows 2008 for DNS, DHCP, Active Directory and print servers.” The RSP runs up to five additional services and applications virtually in a protected partition on the Steelhead appliance, enabling companies to deploy edge services to branch office locations without having to maintain fullblown servers.

Biesse has also experienced a 60% reduction in the amount of data traversing the WAN. “This data reduction has enabled us to avoid increasing bandwidth. Without Riverbed we estimated that we would need to quadruple our bandwidth capacity, which would have been extremely expensive,” says Capizzi. “Overall Riverbed has enabled us to deliver our business goals.

SUMMARY

Biesse started on a major IT consolidation program with key applications centralized at its headquarters. However, bandwidth and latency issues resulted in poor application performance and made real-time collaboration impossible. By deploying a Riverbed solution, Biesse has seen a 3x improvement in application performance; realtime collaboration is now possible, employee productivity has increased and cost savings have been achieved.

We immediately noticed a significant improvement — application response times were improved by almost three times.

Designers in Italy and India are now working as if they are in the same room together Riverbed has enabled us to deliver our business goals.

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