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Manufacturing company consolidated its IT systems to reduce cost and complexity. However, over time the number of applications used within the company increased resulting in bandwidth bottlenecks and delays for employees accessing web-based applications and email. Installing the Riverbed WAN optimization solution resulted in a reduction in the number of complaints to the IT department about slow application performance.


IN BRIEF

Industry

  • Manufacturing

Challenges

  • Consolidation of IT systems to a central data center results in poor application performance across the WAN, which adversely affects employee productivity

Solution

  • Riverbed Steelhead appliances
  • Central Management Console (CMC)

Benefits

  • 4x improvement in bandwidth capacity
  • Employee productivity improved
  • Bandwidth upgrade delayed for three years

SAME DEUTZ-FAHR

Leading manufacturer avoids bandwidth upgrade and improves employee productivity with Riverbed

SAME DEUTZ-FAHR is one of the leading producers of tractors, combine harvesters, engines and farm machinery in the world. Today the company distributes products under the brand names SAME, DEUTZ-FAHR, Lamborghini and Hürlimann. In 2003 the company became the major shareholder of Deutz AG, one of the largest independent manufacturers of diesel engines, listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The company operates across the world with plants in Europe, India, China and Russia, and sales offices in Europe, United States, Russia and China with approximately 2,400 employees.

Challenge: Consolidation of IT systems to a central data center, results in poor application performance and reduced employee productivity

SAME DEUTZ-FAHR had consolidated its IT systems and main applications to its central data center based in Treviglio, Italy in order to simplify IT management and reduce costs. However, over time the number of applications used within the company increased as did the volume of traffic traversing the wide area network (WAN). As a result employees began to experience longer delays in accessing web-based applications and email, causing frustration for users and time lost waiting for files and applications to download.

By mid-2007 SAME DEUTZ-FAHR recognized that its current bandwidth capacity could no longer cope with the demand and changes needed to be made in order to improve employee productivity. As Luciano Bearzi, system and network manager at SAME DEUTZ-FAHR explains, “After a number of discussions and meetings we recognized that we had two options available to us; increase bandwidth or optimize the WAN.”

Solution: Steelhead appliances installed within minutes with no disruption to existing infrastructure and file download speeds improved

SAME DEUTZ-FAHR quickly ruled out a bandwidth upgrade due to the cost and disruption that this would create within the organization. Having decided to opt for a WAN optimization solution, the company began to investigate the vendor solutions available. “We read a number of documents on WAN optimzation, and Riverbed Technology was the most interesting due to its unique way of improving application speeds over the WAN,” adds Bearzi. “Further discussions with our German colleagues also revealed that a number of them held very favorable opinions about the Riverbed Steelhead appliances, so we decided to contact Riverbed and conduct a pilot.”

“We were pleased by the speed in which Riverbed responded to our request and within minutes of unpacking the Steelhead appliance the system was deployed at our German subsidiary with no requirement to change our existing infrastructure,” recalls Bearzi. “The test produced excellent results and we immediately noticed a significant improvement in application response times. Suddenly we were able to access information over the WAN in just a matter of seconds, compared to the minutes it took previously.”

Benefits: Improved employee performance, 4x improvement in bandwidth capacity and bandwidth upgrade delayed by three years

Following the successful pilot, SAME DEUTZ-FAHR deployed five Steelhead appliances across its organization: one at its headquarters in Treviglio and the others in Germany, France, Croatia and India.

It wasn’t long before users began to comment on the improved application performance speeds. “We quickly saw an overall improvement in employee productivity and as an added bonus the IT department stopped receiving complaints from our remote users about slow application performance,” notes Bearzi.

In addition SAME DEUTZ-FAHR has also seen an overall 4x improvement in bandwidth capacity. “We use the Central Management Console (CMC) to monitor and manage the Steelhead appliances, and we can pull a number of reports from the CMC that highlight the reduction in data traffic across the WAN,” says Bearzi.

“These reports have proved to be extremely useful and, over the course of a week, we have seen data traffic over the WAN reduced from 18Gb to 4.5Gb. Even on a daily basis we regularly see a 3.5x data reduction from 3Gb to 900Mbps.” This has enabled SAME DUETZ-FAHR to delay a bandwidth upgrade for three years.

“Three years ago our consolidation project was stalling due to the increased traffic across our WAN. By installing Riverbed we not only improved application performance and employee productivity but we experienced an increase in bandwidth capacity. Today we can plan to further consolidate our IT systems and remove more local servers from branch offices and thanks to Riverbed our bandwidth requirements will not have to increase significantly. Riverbed has been a key enabler for our consolidation project,” concludes Bearzi.

SUMMARY

Following an IT consolidation project at SAME DEUTZ-FAHR, employees began to experience delays in accessing files and applications over the WAN. With employee productivity suffering, SAME DEUTZ-FAHR considered a WAN optimization solution from Riverbed as an alternative to increasing bandwidth. The result was an immediate improvement in file download speeds, with applications being accessed in seconds rather than minutes. Employee productivity has improved and the company has not only delayed an expensive bandwidth upgrade, but also experienced a 4x improvement in bandwidth capacity.

“We had two options available to us; increase bandwidth or optimize the WAN.”

“Suddenly we were able to access information over the WAN in just a matter of seconds.”

“Even on a daily basis we regularly see a 3.5x data reduction from 3Gb to 900Mbps.”

“Riverbed has been a key enabler for our consolidation project.”

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