With over 750,000 pigs and 40,000 head of cattle, the Franken-Schwaben Association of Farmers (EG) is one of the largest service providers and marketers of domestic and beef cattle in South Germany. In order to remain a strong partner and supplier for butchers and slaughterhouses, Bechtle was commissioned to restructure its existing network components, resulting in a virtualised infrastructure, as well as a sophisticated backup strategy and a future-facing network that can be scaled up as the company grows.
EG Franken-Schwaben is responsible for marketing domestic and beef cattle of the some 3,000 local farmers who are members of the association, with the aim of marketing each animal as locally and humanely as possible. The organisation is headquartered in Wertingen, south of Nuremberg, Bavaria—the ideal location for the 133 employees, who are committed to regional sales, being close to their customers, and keeping the costs for transportation and marketing low. All they need is an IT infrastructure that is fast, secure and scalable; stable, secure e-mail; and reliable backup and WLAN. The existing infrastructure was fast reaching its limits, so the company took the opportunity to restructure. By redesigning the server, storage and network infrastructures and updating the Active Directory domains, EG Franken-Schwaben were looking to avoid future network bottlenecks and secure their IT operations.
Our 133 employees work hard on marketing our farmers’ domestic and beef cattle, and to do so, they need reliable IT. Bechtle installed completely new server systems, VMware as a stable and proven hypervisor plus a reliable, high-performing storage solution with data backup that will grow with our business
Robert Grünauer, IT Administration, Erzeugergemeinschaft Franken-Schwaben Tierische Veredelung w. V.
Working together, Bechtle and EG Franken-Schwaben analysed the status quo before developing a package of measures to reach their desired goal. Bechtle’s approach included a virtualised infrastructure, sophisticated backup strategy and the network components needed for operation, based on a convergent and homogeneous system landscape leveraging HPE’s ProLiant DL 380 Generation 10 servers. The benefits include less effort in terms of implementation, administration and operation, and in terms of reliability, manageability, performance, application support and life span, HPE ProLiant servers are head and shoulders above the competition. Bechtle virtualised the server infrastructure with the VMware hypervisor, choosing a Fortinet firewall to secure the network and act as a WLAN controller.
Bechtle also recommended a hybrid HPE Nimble HF-20 storage solution with redundant controllers for data storage. The intelligent, self-managed Flash storage system ensures the highest levels of data integrity and resilience, while simple integration with Veeam Backup & Replication Software guarantees a reliable, flexible and high-performing data backup concept. By leveraging the HPE Nimble solution, EG Franken-Schwaben can predict and avoid any issues and achieve close to 100% data availability, with most issues being resolved before they become obvious.
With all components planned and implemented, the next step was for Bechtle to migrate all relevant server services based on Windows Server 2019. The existing collaboration platform was moved to Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 and within only a few short weeks, Bechtle had completed implementation, sharing their expertise and relevant documentation with EG Franken-Schwaben.
With their new HPE system landscape, EG Franken-Schwaben now has an infrastructure that is up-to-date, easy to manage and scalable. Systems such as VMware, Microsoft applications and Veeam can be easily integrated and HPE’s Nimble storage solutions ensures data are secure and always available. EG Franken-Schwaben’s employees are happy to have a solution at their disposal, which—being based on Microsoft—is well-known to its users.