Töpfer GmbH boosts productivity

New networking, server and storage solution improves overall performance

Published on 19-Nov-2012

"With the IBM systems we can finally use our security solution as it was designed. This helps us keep an eye on product quality and also reduce the risk of theft." - Christian Töpfer, CIO, Töpfer GmbH

Customer:
Töpfer GmbH

Industry:
Consumer Products

Deployment country:
Germany

Solution:
Virtualization, Virtualization - Network, Virtualization - Server

IBM Business Partner:
Wittmann EDV-Systeme

Overview

Töpfer GmbH is a medium-sized food services company located in Albertshofen, Germany. The family-owned business offers its products and services to customers in the hospitality sector as well as wholesale and retail companies. Töpfer also provides catering services for private or business events. Employing 120 people, the company achieves annual revenues of €10 million.

Business need:
Töpfer GmbH, a provider of food products and related services, wanted to improve security on its premises to ensure product quality and minimize the risk of theft in its production facilities.

Solution:
To support its new security solution and virtualized server landscape, Töpfer GmbH worked with IBM Business Partner Wittmann EDV-Systeme to implement IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8052 networking, IBM System x3690 X5 server and IBM System Storage DS5324 storage technology.

Benefits:
Increases product quality with enhanced security monitoring. Improves storage performance by approximately 50 percent. Boosts end-user productivity with reduced response times.

Case Study

To read a German version of this case study, please click here

Töpfer GmbH is a medium-sized food services company located in Albertshofen, Germany. The family-owned business offers its products and services to customers in the hospitality sector as well as wholesale and retail companies. Töpfer also provides catering services for private or business events. Employing 120 people, the company achieves annual revenues of €10 million.

To improve security on its premises – helping to maximize product quality and minimize the risk of theft in its production facilities – Töpfer implemented a new video surveillance system. Because of networking and computing limitations within the company’s existing infrastructure, Töpfer could operate only six out of ten cameras in parallel, which limited its ability to effectively monitor facilities. An expanding server landscape also contributed to growing networking requirements. As a result, the company needed to improve its networking performance to maintain exceptional service levels and implement the new security measures effectively.

Implementing state-of-the-art networking
Working with IBM Business Partner Wittmann EDV-Systeme GmbH, Töpfer replaced its existing HP switches with state-of-the-art networking technology from IBM.

“When we needed to upgrade our IT environment, we were looking for strong partners to support us,” says Christian Töpfer, CIO at Töpfer GmbH. “With Wittman EDV-Systeme and IBM we found competent and reliable support for our IT operations.”

The project team implemented an IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8052 switch to support the new security solution, which includes ten surveillance cameras and an access control system. The IBM RackSwitch solution provides ten times the previous networking capacity, connecting ten network printers, ten cameras, production equipment and client desktops with 1 Gpbs bandwidth. The company’s servers are linked to the switch using 10 Gbps network connections.

The IBM RackSwitch G8052 switch offers VMready® networking functionality, which simplifies network configuration of the company’s VMware environment. The solution automatically detects virtual machines in the network and ensures correct networking configurations, even when migrating across different physical servers.

Töpfer replaced its legacy HP servers with two IBM System x3690 X5 servers, providing greater computing power to meet the increased performance requirements of the new security solution. Built on innovative IBM eX5 enterprise technology and top-of-the-line Intel Xeon E7 processors, the System x3690 X5 servers deliver outstanding performance and scalability for mission-critical computing tasks.

The two IBM System x3690 X5 servers run Töpfer’s mission-critical business applications in ten virtual machines using VMware virtualization software. Workloads include the security solution, an enterprise resource planning system, financial and payroll accounting solutions, a document management system and a terminal server.

Töpfer also operates a manufacturing system, enabling the company to offer just-in-time production, a key competitive advantage. Workstations configured to run in tough environments are used in the production and warehouse areas. Barcode scanners are connected to the workstations to keep track of inventory movements and ensure accurate warehouse management. All of the devices rely on the new networking infrastructure.

To improve storage performance, Töpfer replaced its legacy EMC storage system with an IBM System Storage DS3524 Express solution with a total capacity of 4 TB. To support high availability, the storage system provides advanced reliability with redundant and hot-swappable disk controllers.

For workload-optimized performance, Töpfer adjusted the storage volume configuration to run database workloads on eight high-performance disks. To avoid data loss, the data is synchronized between drives. For improved capacity usage, all other applications access eight hard disk drives, distributing data across all drives with integrated data security based on parity checks. Advanced technology made the transition from the legacy storage system to the new solution seamless and smooth. “Thanks to our partner Wittmann EDV-Systeme, migration to the new storage system was very easy,” explains Christian Töpfer. “The IBM storage solution is designed with rapid deployment in mind, supporting quick migration with VMware vMotion software. We managed to move our systems to the IBM storage solution with a total downtime of only one hour.”

Boosting performance and improving security
The new networking solution enables Töpfer to use its security solution to its full potential, activating all surveillance cameras for improved product security and theft protection.

“With the IBM systems we can finally use our security solution as it was designed,” says Christian Töpfer. “This helps us keep an eye on product quality and also reduce the risk of theft.”

The storage solution with its super-fast server connections in combination with flexible and easy storage management provides high performance and scalability at a very competitive price.

“By upgrading our storage systems we have improved storage performance by approximately 50 percent,” says Christian Töpfer. “Faster response times have also boosted end-user productivity considerably.

“This solution provides in-built scalability, enabling us to take advantage of growth opportunities and expand our systems step-by-step as needed. The improved flexibility based on proven technology from IBM and the excellent collaboration with Wittmann EDV-Systeme is an important asset for the development of our company.”

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
Storage, Storage: DS3500 Express, System Networking: IBM RackSwitch G8052, System x, System x: System x3690 X5

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Deutschland GmbH 71137 Ehningen Deutschland ibm.com/de IBM Österreich Obere Donaustrasse 95 1020 Wien ibm.com/at IBM Schweiz Vulkanstrasse 106 8010 Zürich ibm.com/ch Produced in Germany November 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, RackSwitch, System Storage, System x and VMready are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at: ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. IBM and Wittmann EDV-Systeme GmbH are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor Wittmann EDV-Systeme GmbH makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.