Some things just don’t go together, like an engineering office employing nearly 100 highly skilled staff and an archaic IT infrastructure that can no longer be maintained. It was therefore understandable that the experts at Harrer Ingenieure GmbH sought out specialist support for their IT project. The Bechtle IT System House in Stuttgart built a high-performance, future-ready IT architecture based on Fujitsu components.
For nearly 60 years, HARRER INGENIEURE GMBH has been independently advising, developing, planning, supporting, monitoring and inspecting construction projects for its customers. Its areas of expertise include structural and civil engineering, bridge and tunnel construction, foundation engineering, and industrial and commercial construction in addition to general planning, including project management. It also offers risk management services, special construction projects, site management and health & safety coordination services. In 1997, Harrer Ingenieure opened a branch office in Ostfildern, near Stuttgart, followed in 2014 by a second branch office in Baden-Baden. harrer-ing.net
In 1960, engineer Kurt Harrer founded Harrer Ingenieure in Karlsruhe, Germany, with an initial staff of eight. Since then, the Karlsruhe main office has grown to over 55 engineers, 15 technicians and specialists as well as an administrative staff of ten. In addition to the expertise of its employees, the engineering office needs a powerful, stable IT infrastructure to ensure its success. In 2010, the company installed a traditional server and storage architecture with a view to cutting maintenance costs and increasing transparency. After just seven years, however, this infrastructure could no longer be maintained and had to be completely overhauled and expanded.
HARRER INGENIEURE IS LED BY FIVE ENGINEERS (from left to right): Harald Augenstein, Hermann Sommer, Matthias Gerold, Slobodan Kasic and Rudi Lehnert.
Harrer Ingenieure’s IT processes are based entirely on Microsoft solutions, so it wanted its new architecture to continue in this vein. “The expansion of our storage infrastructure’s capacity and performance had to support our company. In doing so, we didn’t want the hardware prices to exceed our initial investment costs. Another key criteria was that we expected the manufacturer to work with us as equals and provide first-class support that would fit our specific needs like a glove,” explains Matthias Gerold, managing partner at Harrer Ingenieure GmbH. The expanded infrastructure would also have to ensure automatic, transparent failover. Finally, the overhauled environment was to contribute meaningfully to a long-term reduction of the total cost of operation. After defining its ambitious goals, the engineering office began looking for a suitable IT partner to implement them.
Harrer Ingenieure’s IT managers conducted an extensive benchmarking exercise to review the server and storage components of various manufacturers. “None of the systems within our price range met our requirements. Finally, in a series of proofs of concept, we tested the relatively new Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct feature in Windows Server 2016,” remembers Mr Gerold. In the end, Harrer Ingenieure chose to partner with Bechtle’s IT system house in Stuttgart. Bechtle recommended Fujitsu components that closely met all technical requirements while also offering genuine value for money. Another argument in favour of Fujitsu was that the hardware is manufactured in Germany. Harrer Ingenieure hired Bechtle to implement the project, including the delivery of high-performance Fujitsu hardware. “The primary reason we decided to work with Bechtle and Fujitsu was the outstanding quality and value of Fujitsu’s products. We were also impressed by the first-rate advice and specialist expertise of both partners in data centre design and equipment,” states Mr Gerold.
The primary reason we decided to work with Bechtle and Fujitsu was the outstanding quality and value of Fujitsu’s products. We were also impressed by the first-rate advice and specialist expertise of both partners in data centre design and equipment
The comprehensive solution implemented by Bechtle, FUJITSU PRIMEFLEX for Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, was based mainly on the Storage Spaces Direct Hyper-Converged virtualisation technology. This technology is integrated under Windows Server 2016. Added to this were various certified Fujitsu hardware components. “The cooperation between Harrer Ingenieure, Fujitsu and Bechtle proved to be very effective and inspiring for all parties—a prime example of true co-creation,” says Maxim Kushnir, Head of Technology Design & Networking, Bechtle IT System House Stuttgart. Bechtle migrated existing data to the new system in a single weekend, then tested performance and optimised the system. It also switched the backup software to Veeam. The new environment will continue to be operated by Harrer Ingenieure’s IT department, supported by an operations support agreement with Bechtle that was part of the complete solution.
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The new infrastructure’s benefits became obvious after it went live. The fully redundant setup thoroughly safeguards Harrer Ingenieure’s IT operations and minimises the impact of an outage on business processes. “The higher capacity and improved performance of our new environment provides us with a reliable technical basis for further expanding our business. By aligning our IT more closely with our business goals and taking advantage of our partners’ expert support, we are now able to reap the benefits of future-ready business processes. And thanks to comprehensive service agreements, our IT staff can now focus on their core focus areas and initiate additional innovative projects,” summarises Mr Gerold.
Lead Technology Concepts & Networking
Bechtle IT System House Stuttgart
Senior VIPM Fujitsu
Bechtle Logistics & Service GmbH, Neckarsulm
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Published on Jul 23, 2019.