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itesys AG: Virtualization, network improvement, and customer service

With BNC and Arista Networks to enhance network performance and simplify operations management

As the largest service provider in Switzerland to deal exclusively with SAP Basis, itesys AG push towards more virtualised environments prompted a major upgrade of its networking infrastructure. Through its move to Arista
Networks, itesys has improved performance and simplified its operations to provide the highest levels of service to its clients. 


itesys AG

As specialists in SAP Basis services, itesys AG assists clients of all sizes and across various industries, providing tailored services for SAP Basis and addressing issues related to SAP Basis.



Behind the scenes, the company maintains two separate geo-redundant data centers in
Switzerland which are used to host critical managed instances of SAP for its customers.
This SAP installation ranges from small, local companies to systems that run major,
international conglomerates.

With reliability and performance of paramount importance, itesys has invested heavily
in its data center architecture over the last decade and was an early implementor of
40G ethernet mesh technology to interconnect its server estate and network attached
storage. In recent years, much of its focus has been on moving its large estate of
monolithic SAP implementations onto more virtualised environments.

And as Stefan Dunsch, Head of Service Operations for itesys explains, “Our network was
starting to reach its limits of scalability – and was not well suited to a more virtualised
environment as it lacked native support for VXLAN.” In addition, the complexity of the
organically grown network was leading to increased management complexity, “ and we
know that as things get more difficult to manage, the risk of failure rises – and this is not
acceptable for us.

“BNC is our long serving and highly trusted IT partner for networking in Switzerland and it was important for us to get their input and opinion
before building a shortlist. BNC has a track record of recommending state-of-the-art technology for our needs, said Dunsch.


project overview


The subsequent implementation project used a spine based on Arista 7050 series non-blocking 100G data center switches in compact space with wire speed layer 2 and layer 3 features. The leaf utilises mostly 7050 series non-blocking 10/25G data center switches and some 7010 series with 48 ports of 10/100/1000 and 4 integrated 1/10GbE SFP+ ports.

The upgrade processes Dunsch describes as “straightforward and seamless” and the new network is delivering improvements in performance while requiring less day-to-day management. Alongside the visibility, troubleshooting and optimisation benefits his team has gained using CloudVision, Dunsch also highlights the openness of the platform and built-in utilities as aiding its largely virtualised environment. 

“A few of these surprised us by just how useful they were,” says Dunsch, “For example at first, the VMTracer utility was just a ‘nice-tohave’ but we have found it extremely useful for deploying new VMs and automatically reconfiguring the VLANs only to the ports they are needed on. It’s a really neat feature that we now use regularly.”

The upgrade project has been deemed a success, and is transparent to its customer base. Looking to the future, Dunsch believes that although the SAP community has still not yet dived into areas such as DevOps or Kubernetes – the investment it has made in Arista and the new network, “… means we are ready to have that discussion in the future,” he concludes.

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