August Steinmeyer GmbH & Co. KG, based in Albstadt, Germany, was founded by August Steinmeyer in 1920 as a precision machine shop. It initially specialised in manufacturing micrometres but has been developing and producing precision ball screw drives since the 1960s—becoming a niche leader in the process. Not only are the company’s ball screw drives essential for modern machine and apparatus construction, they are also used in several other areas such as medical technology, metrology and the aerospace industry.
The motors powering machines and apparatuses are required to be highly precise and reliable. Screw ball drives, which nowadays demand a high degree of specialisation, are an indispensable component—and Steinmeyer delivers an exceptionally broad range of them. The manufacturer is increasingly relying on digital services to help keep its current momentum going as it provides customers around the world with top-notch products. Although the hardware and services in Steinmeyer’s data centre were supplied by top manufacturers, the accompanying manufacturer maintenance agreements were due to expire at the end of the year.
Steinmeyer’s existing IT infrastructure was barely able to meet the company’s requirements. In addition, the IT department could no longer keep up with the administrative tasks. So Steinmeyer began looking for a new IT infrastructure with managed services, one that would be stable, state-of-the-art and very reliable. The ultimate goal was to free up Steinmeyer’s IT staff to help develop digital business areas and collaborate on in-house projects, leaving open tickets and IT troubleshooting to an outside service provider. This service provider would have to ensure guaranteed availability through a single point of contact (SPOC), help Steinmeyer manage its infrastructure and be able to adapt its services flexibly. Excellent service quality, cloud-service expertise, and clear communications channels and coordination processes were also required. In addition, the services provided would have to be cost-effective for Steinmeyer.
To expand our digital services we needed to better leverage our in-house resources. We now partner with Bechtle, who supports our end-users, manages our data centre and addresses issues proactively through monitoring technology. As a result, our IT is dependable and stable. And that’s exactly what we wanted.
Torsten Grudke, ERP-Administration, August Steinmeyer GmbH & Co. KG
Bechtle had already been supporting Steinmeyer’s IT department by providing first-level support for all infrastructure issues. It would now design a service desk for 280 end-users and take over operation of Steinmeyer’s entire IT infrastructure, located in two separate data centres.
The two data centres were equipped with three HPE DL360G10 servers acting as ESXi hosts as well as one for backups. A Nimble Storage CS3000 adaptive flash array was also installed for storage, with a Nimble Storage CS1000 adaptive flash array serving as secondary storage. Nimble Storage offers Steinmeyer substantially better performance, simpler administration and full Nimble–Veeam integration. Both arrays are mirrored asynchronously using Veeam storage snapshots.
While the new hardware was important, Steinmeyer was especially keen to benefit from Bechtle’s managed services. In addition to operating the entire data centre infrastructure—including server, storage, Exchange and backup technology—Bechtle also supports the company’s 280 end-users by providing advice and technical assistance through a service desk available from 6:30am to 6pm. And if there are any issues in the data centre, Bechtle handles those as well, relying on Check_MK—a scalable, flexible open-source solution—to monitor the IT infrastructure. Check_MK Enterprise Edition offers high-performance professional support as well as a range of enterprise features.
Bechtle also regularly installs all required patches for Windows Server, Nimble Storage, network infrastructure, ESXi hosts, Veeam, endpoint security and Exchange. All this ensures that Steinmeyer’s infrastructure as a whole is always up to date without bogging down the company’s in-house IT staff.
The Nimble Storage and HPE servers lay a future-proof foundation for Steinmeyer’s IT. Both infrastructure operation and support are provided by Bechtle, who further adds value by monitoring and strategically improving service quality through regular reports and reviews. Thanks to Check_MK monitoring technology, Bechtle’s service desk is able to stay ahead of any issues. Most importantly, Steinmeyer’s IT department is now able to devote itself to expanding the company’s own digital services instead of wrangling data centre technology.