IT solutions | 5 min read
Network-revolution in the core, distribution and access
Leica Geosystems upgrades its campus network with Juniper Networks.
With dedication, speed and Swiss precision, Leica Geosystems is revolutionising the world of surveying. It needs a modern and reliable network infrastructure to support these ongoing innovations. The company decided to renew its aging campus network with Juniper Networks.
Leica Geosystems, a Hexagon company, is a pioneer in the development and production of surveying instruments, with nearly 200 years of experience. From the creation of plans and maps, to the construction of office towers and bridges, to the development of passenger planes and racing cars, experts around the world rely on Leica Geosystems solutions to accurately capture, easily analyse, visualise and present spatial data. Just as customers rely on the innovation, precision, reliability and efficiency of the measurement solutions, employees must also be able to rely on the network infrastructure.
ICT is the backbone of Leica Geosystems’ business activities like research, development, production, and sales. This infrastructure must run smoothly for the approximately 1,400 employees within the campus. It must facilitate fast information exchange, high-speed data transfer, keep pace with the changing and increasing demand of an innovative company. All this is operated by a network team with limited resources. These developments also come to light in the network. When the existing infrastructure was nearing the end of support, the company decided to modernise its campus network and replace the outdated hardware as part of a complete lifecycle management process.
SolutionsAt the start of the project in 2016, Leica Geosystems invited several suppliers to present their concept for the renewal of the network. Among others, the aim was to achieve greater vendor independence within the entire infrastructure. With the high-performance Ethernet switching solutions from Juniper Networks, the network specialists at ngworx were able to present a technically convincing and attractively priced alternative to the existing manufacturer, and ultimately wining the tender. “Juniper Networks delivers the functionality we need and meets our important requirements for speed and stability. These points, in combination with an excellent price, were the decisive factors for our choice,” says Carmelo Velardo, Network Engineer and Service Owner LAN at Leica Geosystems.
Later in 2016, Leica Geosystems successfully carried out proof a of concept (PoC) in close collaboration with the Juniper Networks Elite Partner ngworx. This allowed for the roll-out of the lifecycle to begin as early as 2017. For the access layer the new campus solution used Juniper Networks EX switches, mainly from the 3400 series. Juniper Networks QFX switches, mainly from the 5100 series, are used for the distribution and core layers. “Not only did the entire infrastructure change, but also the network design as well the installation and configuration of network devices,” Carmelo Velardo explains. “ngworx prepared us for the Juniper Networks in several trainings and accompanied us during migrations, which allowed us to build up more know-how step by step. Given our existing network experience, we soon had everything well under control and are now technically capable of completing the tasks ourselves. And if we do need support, we can always count on ngworx”.
If Leica Geosystems encounters a complex problem, requires a new design or needs an RMA they relies first and foremost on the vendor support of ngworx. “Support is one of the most important points for me,” says Carmelo Velardo. “The ngworx technicians are always ready for action and work really well from a technical point of view. Another great added value is that they know our network very well and we don’t have to start from scratch when we have problems. Also, Juniper Networks Tech
Upgrading the infrastructure allows Leica Geosystems to provide its employees with the world-class network experience they need in their high-quality work environment. Carmelo Velar explains: “It is important for us that the equipment is fast – we now have 1 Gbit/s and 10 Gbit/s throughout – and that the network is stable. A prolonged internet outage in one of our buildings would not be acceptable to us. We can meet both requirements perfectly with Juniper Networks.”
The service owner LAN sees further advantages in the simpler administration of the network for his team of five employees and in the considerably lower costs: “With Juniper Networks, we were able to reduce the costs for our infrastructure by almost half. This is owed to the competitively priced hardware, but also the low-priced maintenance.”
Already 90% of the switching infrastructure of Leica Geosystems’ central campus in Heerbrugg is based on Juniper Networks. The goal is to eventually operate the entire access and distribution network with Juniper Networks. By the end of the lifecycle project, a total of almost 200 devices will have been replaced. Carmelo Velardo concludes: “Today I can say that I am very happy with the decision to modernise our network and with Juniper Networks. The devices work well and don’t cause any problems. That’s exactly what you want.” In addition, Leica Geosystems is considering complementing its current campus network by looking at Juniper Networks for its WLAN infrastructure as well. “We simply want to be well prepared when our existing contracts in the WLAN area expire in a few years. That’s why we’re already excited when ngworx will soon introduce us to the WLAN solutions offered by Mist Systems, a company recently acquired by Juniper Networks.”
- Obsolete network infrastructure
- Vendor dependency
- Scarce human resources
- Increasing performance requirements
- Growing data volumes
- Juniper Networks EX Series Ethernet Switches (Access)
- Juniper Networks QFX Series Data Center Switches (Distribution and Core)
- Powerful and stable state of the art campus network
- Easy management even for a small team
- Cost savings of almost 50%