Pollmeier Massivholz GmbH & Co. KG operates Europe’s highest-capacity hardwood sawmills in Creuzburg and Aschaffenburg, Germany. The company produces sawn hardwood timber—sourced exclusively from sustainably managed and, where possible, local forests—through standardised, fully automated processes. Aided by applied science, Pollmeier just recently developed a new process technology that would enable hardwood to replace softwood and even steel and concrete as construction materials.
By strategically redesigning its IT infrastructure, Pollmeier wanted to accommodate increased performance demands and ensure greater flexibility, enabling it to integrate new applications seamlessly. It was also looking for a new, standardised network solution to reduce administrative and management tasks. Implementing extensive Wi-Fi would make it easier to work flexibly and efficiently in production and logistics. In addition, automation technology would increase availability and make Pollmeier’s IT more flexible in the long term. Pollmeier needed a solution that would let it respond more quickly not only to industry changes but also to customer requests—without adversely impacting production.
Bechtle’s extensive project experience and vendor-neutral expertise ensured that we obtained the best solution for our company. Issues with new applications and usage scenarios are now a thing of the past.
Sven Raab, IT Project Manager, Pollmeier Massivholz GmbH & Co. KG
Pollmeier’s new IT design involves two data centres that are connected via 10 Gigabit Ethernet lines to form a single high-availability, highly redundant network. At the heart of the new plant’s infrastructure are Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) blade servers, which enable an integrated architecture unifying computing, network, administration, virtualisation and storage access. The nearly 30 TB of data generated by Pollmeier are continuously and fully automatically backed up on a NetApp FAS3220 cluster. The FAS3220’s storage architecture and powerful processor offer first-class support for flash and enterprise clustering. As a result, Pollmeier benefits from a flexible data infrastructure that adapts to application workloads as needed. Data snapshots are performance-neutral and incremental so that valuable storage space is taken up only by new information. As a result, backups are resource-efficient and fast, without hindering ongoing production. Pollmeier’s second data centre houses an additional Cisco UCS system with a NetApp FAS2240 storage system. This 40 TB system is used to mirror data asynchronously through NetApp SnapMirror, ensuring high availability and protecting data. The nearly 100 virtual server systems are based on VMware vSphere, which flexibly supports operating systems and over 50 software solutions. The resulting converged network connects not only 300 workstations, smartphones and desk phones, but also machines and equipment running control and management software from a variety of publishers. The entire IT infrastructure is now managed via unified, easy-to-understand vCenter and UCS management, following training of Pollmeier’s employees by Bechtle. System performance is supported by NetApp AutoSupport.
The new, standardised IT design ensures that hardware remains highly available and data is protected even in the event of a failure. Advanced virtualisation and hardware technology provides the required flexibility to restore operations quickly. In addition, the new infrastructure makes it easy to administrate the new technology, reducing operating expenses. In addition, the technology implemented renders Pollmeier’s infrastructure more flexible, enabling easy capacity and performance adjustments in response to application requirements. Pollmeier’s IT was able to gain agility, increase capacity and performance, enhance data protection and lower the costs of IT management.
Sven Raab is the IT project manager at Pollmeier. In this video, he explains what IT means to his company. (German only).