Balluff GmbH enjoys major benefits through a new 40 Gbit backbone

Published on 28-May-2013

"With IBM System Networking we achieved a solution that satisfied our requirements entirely. In addition to its technological quality, we were particularly impressed by the customization of the solution within such a short space of time." - Heiko Allgaier, IT System Engineer, Balluff GmbH

Customer:
Balluff GmbH

Industry:
Industrial Products

Deployment country:
Germany

Solution:
Connectivity - High availability, Enabling Business Flexibility, Energy Efficiency, Systems & Network Management

Overview

Balluff GmbH is one of the world’s leading sensor manufacturers with over 50 years experience and an international customer base. Based in Neuhausen near Stuttgart, the company offers a product range built on its sophisticated technology and state-of-the-art electronics that can be tailored for customer-specific applications. With over 2,200 staff, Balluff has earned a reputation for first-class service and support, and also provides extensive consulting services.

Business need:
Balluff’s obsolete Ethernet LAN was compromising network speed and availability. A new solution was needed that also distributed power supplies to all terminal devices using Ethernet connections.

Solution:
A new backbone was designed, built around the IBM® System Networking RackSwitch™ G8264 10/40 Gbit and the IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8052. IBM also provides a service package including software support and diagnostics.

Benefits:
The new solution provides standardized, fast, and flexible connections between terminal devices and servers using 1/10/40 Gbit switches. Availability is much improved thanks to redundant architecture, and the system is space- and energy-efficient.

Case Study

Balluff GmbH is one of the world’s leading sensor manufacturers with over 50 years experience and an international customer base. Based in Neuhausen near Stuttgart, the company offers a product range built on its sophisticated technology and state-of-the-art electronics that can be tailored for customer-specific applications. With over 2,200 staff, Balluff has earned a reputation for first-class service and support, and also provides extensive consulting services.

Renewing the Ethernet LAN
The company needed to replace the local area network (LAN) infrastructure of the outdated Ethernet network at its German headquarters to improve network speed and availability, lower operational cost, and allow more flexibility in configuration and management. This presented a number of challenges, in particular connecting the new IBM Power Systems™ via 10 Gbit Ethernet and the connection of all the terminal devices in the LAN, including providing power to the LAN phones.

Three IBM RackSwitch G8264 10/40 Gbit and four IBM RackSwitch G8052 switches, distributed over three locations within the Balluff GmbH campus, form the core of the new network. These switches and their 40 Gbit Ethernet fibre-optic connections provide the backbone for communication between the servers and the company’s terminals.

The company’s workstations, printers and telephones are connected via 48‑port Juniper Networks EX220 switches. A total of 45 of these units are networked throughout the Balluff GmbH campus, enabling connection of the terminals via Gigabit Ethernet while simultaneously delivering power to the individual telephone handsets. All switch components are maintained under an extended IBM Service contract that also provides software updates and diagnostic support.

Overcoming barriers

Replacing an entire LAN in a production environment can be a difficult undertaking and this project was no exception. During the implementation phase, analysis demonstrated that special functionality would be required to achieve network load balancing (NLB) for the Microsoft Windows servers.

New switch software was developed in a very short timescale thanks to close cooperation between the IBM Integration Service and IBM’s System Networking Laboratory in the US.

All parties involved in the project worked hard to minimize outages and downtime to avoid compromising Balluff’s business and manufacturing schedule. Once the new software had been deployed and tested, the rest of the implementation was rapidly completed.

Result: More performance and flexibility while occupying less space and consuming less power
Thanks to modern 40 Gbit switch technology, the network is much faster and also provides rapid and flexible routing between the switches and servers. In addition to end-to-end Gbit connection of all the LAN terminal devices with optional power supply, the IBM solution also guarantees low power consumption and occupies markedly less space.

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Power Systems, System Networking, System Networking: IBM RackSwitch G8052, System Networking: IBM RackSwitch G8264

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Deutschland GmbH IBM-Allee 1 71139 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 May 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Power Systems and RackSwitch are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at: www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.