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Ledvance.

Ledvance: Migrating central file services to the cloud quickly with Microsoft Azure.

Over the course of a century, LEDVANCE has become one of the world’s leading providers of general lighting. The company’s core business centres around LED luminaires, advanced LED lamps, intelligent and networked smart home and smart building solutions as well as traditional light sources, sold in more than 140 countries. Having emerged from the general lighting business of OSRAM, the LEDVANCE name echoes its brand promise of “advancing light”.

Project details.

logo-ledvance.png
  • Cloud
  • Server & Storage
  • Manufacturing
  • Trade / Service
  • Microsoft
  • >1,500 employees

Starting point.

State-of-the-art technological trends are shaping the market for lighting solutions more than ever before. Light plays an essential role in today’s digital era and the increasingly connected nature of our daily lives. As a supplier of lighting solutions, LEDVANCE sees rapid industrial change as an opportunity to advance new products, conquer new markets and further new ways of thinking. LEDVANCE wants to redefine the role of lighting in our connected world. In pursuit of this goal, the company has been growing steadily since it split from OSRAM, building up expertise in all areas of general lighting. The company needed a scalable and flexible structure moving forward — not just with respect to its staff but also its IT. Unable to continue using its previous file services, LEDVANCE had to find a new solution for its user, application, file and OS data. It therefore decided to migrate its entire IT infrastructure to the cloud, eliminating the need for extensive hardware.

Project objectives.

LEDVANCE’s project consisted of consolidating its IT and revamping its infrastructure to embrace a new, cloud-based approach. More specifically, the company’s central file services—comprising 40 TB of data—had to be migrated from the data centre where they were previously housed to a suitable cloud solution that had to be accessible to over 6,000 users worldwide. The challenge was to complete the migration quickly, as LEDVANCE had already given notice to terminate its data centre contract when it began searching for a cloud solution. A set deadline was therefore looming, so the company needed a solution that would be available quickly and could be set up promptly. In addition, it had to ensure low latency when users accessed data in the cloud. LEDVANCE also needed specialists available at short notice to set up the new cloud system, as the entire timeline was just two months.

We were searching for a solution to migrate our central file services, which comprise 40 TB in total, into the cloud—and fast. Our new cloud system had to be available quickly and set up promptly. On top of that, we didn’t want any of our 6,000 global users to experience any latency issues when working in the cloud. Bechtle’s specialists knew that Microsoft Azure was the right solution. Everything was set up and our data migrated in just two months. We are thrilled!

Jon Werner, Global Manager – Servers and Storage, LEDVANCE GmbH

Process.

Bechtle’s specialists were up to the task of tackling this ambitious challenge. An assessment of LEDVANCE’s requirements made it clear that Microsoft Azure was the right solution. After comparing the technologies offered by Azure—such as SharePoint, StoreSimple and IaaS—Bechtle chose Azure File Service, which then served as the basis for the rest of the project.

Solution.

Azure File Service uses SMB 2.1, the industry standard file-sharing protocol. Applications accessed through Azure are able to share data between different virtual machines thanks to standardised interfaces. Users are also able to access data concurrently. Azure File Service leverages the same technology as all other Azure services, making it as available, scalable and secure as the Azure platform as a whole.

 

At the start of the project, Azure File Service was still in the beta stage. (Bechtle made sure LEDVANCE was aware of this.) Bechtle therefore ran an initial and ultimately successful pilot project that migrated a smaller amount of data than the required 40 TB to the cloud. However, the remaining data were already being uploaded at the same time—a calculated gamble by LEDVANCE to ensure that its enormous data volumes would be available to all users by the end of the tight project deadline.

 

In the end, everything worked out according to plan. LEDVANCE now uses an on-premise front-end server to store frequently accessed data from the Azure cloud locally. The 6,000 users spread out across the globe experience no delays at all when accessing file services. As a matter of fact, there is no discernible difference between the new cloud storage and the previous on-premise solution—data is always accessible from anywhere in the world, at any time.

Business benefits.

Although the deadline was tight, the solution recommended by Bechtle exceeded all of LEDVANCE’s expectations. Microsoft Azure not only makes its cloud storage and the files therein available to users quickly, its storage capacity can be expanded as needed. LEDVANCE is able to use its IT resources more efficiently and eliminate the never-ending maintenance hassle of local hardware.