Software AG TestimonyTransparent and Central User Management

“We chose the DNS management offering from EfficientIP since its internal logic allowed it to adapt perfectly to our needs. Furthermore, the flexibility of the solution package turned out to be ideal for the structure in our user community.”

Timo Schilling, Network Architect

 

Project Objectives

  • DNS-DHCP landscapes upgrade
  • Transparent user administration

Key Benefits

  • Central management system for DNS, DHCP and IP Addresses
  • Holistic visibility of any location in global network
  • Improved data quality

Software AG supports the digital transformation of companies. With the Digital Business Platform from Software AG, companies can better interact with customers, develop their business models and open up new market potential. When it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), Software AG offers its customers leading solutions for integration, networking and management of IoT components, as well as an analysis of the data and a prediction of future events based on Artificial Intelligence. The Digital Business Platform is based on technology leadership and decades of expertise in IT and software development. Software AG has more than 4,500 employees, an active presence in 70 countries, and achieved a turnover of €834 million in 2020.

Situation and Challenges Faced

In order to modernize the company’s heterogeneous DNS and DHCP landscape and to introduce IPv6 as a data transmission procedure, EfficientIP was brought on board. A new system needed to be implemented, with three main requirements: number one was that the decision-makers wanted to use mass-deployment templates to maintain the settings of the heterogeneous landscape independently from the central system. A second request concerned the global visibility aspect; to keep track of activities at any location in the global network, the required information always had to be retrieved beforehand from the respective on-site system. In the future, a new management system will provide those responsible with the option of correlating everything and viewing it from a central location.

The third important point on the wishlist was related to user administration. DNS management in the company needed to be extended from a worldwide team of experts to larger groups with clear areas of responsibility, for the network in predefined regions such as Asia, Europe, and the United States. In addition, the IT administrators needed to have the ability to fully trace any irregularities in the system without any delay. This was to ensure they had full control over the management system and users.

Project Overview

“We chose the DNS management offering from EfficientIP since its internal logic allowed it to adapt perfectly to our needs”, explained Timo Schilling, Network Architect at Software AG, who was also the project manager. “Furthermore, the flexibility of the solution package turned out to be ideal for the structure in our user community.” With EfficientIP solutions, the host or resource record is a fixed value that can be moved within the system, while competitor solutions use the IP address as the fixed value. In addition, users are not tied to an EfficientIP platform, meaning they can use operating systems such as Microsoft and Linux. “This makes the solution particularly interesting for small sites with just a few employees, which is how we operate in many places”, continued Schilling.

Since 2017, Software AG has used EfficientIP’s solution  in their own IT set-up –specifically the DHCP service, which is used on sites running EfficientIP’s SOLIDserver. The servers run an internal domain in which everything to be resolved internally is entered. An important application is to monitor the switch infrastructure- the corresponding information to the switch port can be viewed to verify that DNS entries are correct. The plan for 2018 is to use EfficientIP in a Star Failover architecture at larger sites to establish a solution for the redundancy concept. “The background to introducing this was the consolidation of the DNS-DHCP landscape as a standalone system based on the most stable IP address management (IPAM) with the bigger goal of introducing IPv6″, explained Timo Schilling. “To create a uniform operational base, the internal DHCP solution and the self-written network documentation first had to be consistently replaced, and that has been successfully achieved.”

Main Results

Even before the introduction, the systems were almost completely virtual. Now, even SOLIDserver is based on a virtual infrastructure with the exception of a single physical system. “Virtual systems are paying off, especially in small locations with only a few offices and users, whereas hardware systems are relevant in large data centers”, clarified Andrea Graeber, Senior Manager Network & Global Infrastructure Services. To complete the solution as a one-stop-shop, Software AG directly purchased the Provider Maintenance Service – and with good results, said Graeber: “To date, the implementation has more than proven itself and if we do have any critical questions, we have our own dedicated contact person at EfficientIP.”

From today’s perspective, one of the main benefits of the implementation is the central management of DNS, DHCP and IP addresses. The IT team can internally manage many systems from one location and monitor them, while experts are able to grant regional rights to users as required. In addition, the system scores top marks for high visibility. Employees who are new to using the system do not need to have specific knowledge of DNS. One upcoming feature is the comprehensive reporting functionality that should add value in the future. “Several years ago, we started to build an IPv6 test environment, but it was separate from the rest of the corporate network”, explained Andrea Graeber. “Now that we have consolidated it and it runs through the EfficientIP platform, it has proven to be a wise investment and a real milestone in improving the quality of the data”.

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