Nutanix Enables SCHILLER AG to Step Up to the Competition
Needed an infrastructure platform that would meet all compliance and data protection requirements.
- Obtained a flexible, reliable, and efficient hyperconverged infrastructure solution
- Gained a scalable platform to support further growth
- Obtained the ability accommodate challenging workloads, including new documentation management application
The Swiss firm SCHILLER AG is one of the world’s leading companies in the development, production, and sale of medical equipment for cardiopulmonary diagnosis, patient monitoring, and emergency medicine. SCHILLER is an autonomous and financially independent firm with about 1,000 employees and 30 subsidiary firms. The company offers globally unique service support
and the promise for further outstanding technical advances.
Needing Flexibility and Ensuring Compliance
As a medium-sized manufacturer of technical medical devices, SCHILLER AG faces considerable competitive pressure. Ensuring flat hierarchies, short decision-making paths, smooth processes, and creativity are all key goals for this Swiss company. The intellectual property of more than 30 highly capable software and hardware developers makes the value of this owner-managed provider of products and services worth more than its sheer size and consistent growth might otherwise dictate.
SCHILLER AG is also subject to strict regulatory requirements at the national and international level. These regulations do not take effect with the initial certification of the products, but during development. The company also works together with numerous clinics, exchanging a large amount of patient data that is subject to special legal restrictions. For these reasons, data protection will always remain a top priority at SCHILLER.
The company’s in-house IT organization plays a strategic role in both the development of intellectual property and data security. The IT team must ensure the highest level of security and reliable compliance, while strengthening the competitiveness of the company with service offerings that are as flexible as possible. These requirements resulted in a major need for the consolidation and modernization of the existing infrastructure.
Searching For A Cost-efficient, Reliable, And Flexible Platform
“We were seeking a solution that not only met our current needs, but could also flexibly satisfy our future requirements at an attractive price-performance ratio for our medium-sized company,” noted Martin Strickler, Head of IT at SCHILLER AG. “The hyper-convergent, web-scale approach from Nutanix was the best solution for our needs—not only when compared to traditional infrastructure, but also with convergent offerings as well.” An inventory taken in mid-2014 revealed that approximately 80 virtual servers needed to be migrated. In addition, SCHILLER’s requirements included the implementation of an extranet for its global partner companies, distributors, and maintenance companies. This project has now been completed.
“The hyper-convergent, web-scale approach from Nutanix was the best solution for our needs—not only when compared to traditional infrastructure, but also with convergent offerings as well.”
– Martin Strickler, Head of IT, SCHILLER AG
Fast Implementation Within a few Days
The Nutanix infrastructure was configured from the very start to enable easy scalability. Two Nutanix NX-6220 systems were implemented with a total of four nodes – with a VMware vSphere ESXi hypervisor running on each one. In total, 48 processor cores and a storage volume of 3.2 TB SSD and 80 TB hard disks in the Nutanix cluster provide future-proof performance and more than enough storage capacity. The current rate of utilization – even after the start of the worldwide extranet – is still below 50 percent. “The migration to Nutanix was completed in a single weekend, which meant our users didn’ t even notice the changeover,” recalled Strickler.
On the Path to a Digital Company
In addition to implementing a new extranet, additional workload s have already been implemented on the Nutanix appliances, including SCHILLER AG’s intranet and email system. Other workloads are now being moved to Nutanix, including the company’s new document management solution and about 30 VDI workplaces used by developers, product managers, and software testers. The document management system will enable SCHILLER AG to take a big step forward in the direction of digital company processes.
Until recently, many of SCHILLER AG’s compliance documentation processes were recorded on paper. These processes were not only time-consuming and expensive; they were also susceptible to errors. The advantages resulting from digitizing these regulated processes on the Nutanix platform will further secure and strengthen the competitive position of the company.
“We will be able to manage all of these pr ojects without any problems using the Nutanix infrastructure,” highlighted Strickler. “We are also very confident regarding the worldwide system validation by the regulatory authorities. We haven’t experienced a single outage on the Nutanix systems since we went live in October 2014. Everything has run smoothly without any problems. The administrative time savings have also been enormous. It onl y takes one quarter of the time for the regular patching of the systems and applications on Nutanix, despite the fact that IT is directly managing 20 to 30 percent more systems than before going live with Nutanix.”
Leveraging Technical Expertise of a Nutanix Partner
SCHILLER AG received active support from Nutanix’s Swiss partner Sidarion during the evaluation and implementation phases. “I value all o f the technical expertise that our long-term partner has to offer,” reported Strickler. “When we discussed our plans to renew the datacenter infrastructure with the Sidarion team, they immediately suggested Nutanix. We then knew that the solution had to be a good one – and this has proven to be true from every perspective.”
Ready for Today, Prepared for Tomorrow
Over the long term, SCHILLER AG is intending to offer centralize d IT services for the entire group. “We are convinced that with Nutanix, we will be able to realize our plans for a flexible future, including the implementation of hybrid cloud scenarios such as disaster recovery. We are even discussing whether we should also run our ERP system on Nutanix,” explained Strick ler. “With Nutanix, our company is superbly equipped for future international competition.”