The IT Basis department is one of two departments that ensure IT operations at Max Bögl. The IT Infra Server group is responsible for the topics server and storage, virtualization and operating systems.
The departments IT Basis (50 employees*) and IT Automation / Network (20 employees*) ensure IT operations for Max Bögl. For this purpose, a computer center is operated at the headquarters and a colocation in Nuremberg is used. Both data centers are actively used, are highly available and redundantly connected. The server hardware is >90% virtualized with VMware vSphere. The virtual servers primarily run Microsoft Windows Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. About 3,000 notebook and 1,500 PC workstations and numerous mobile devices will be provided, in addition to several hundred virtual desktops and apps. At branch offices and construction sites, only basic services are provided locally, as applications are usually based on . is accessed centrally. Production facilities have additional IT systems.
Otmar Meier has worked in IT at Max Bögl for more than 20 years. As an administrator he was responsible for Unix derivatives, Linux, backup and storage, but also Exchange and SAP. He has been working as a group leader for 13 years and is in charge of IT training.
Marco Kastner has been working as administrator at Max Bögl for 7 years. He primarily supports Linux and AIX, but is also active in monitoring and backup.
„Which systems do you have in use?”
Otmar Meier: “In the Unix/Linux environment, we mainly use SUSE Linux and IBM AIX, occasionally also CentOS and Ubuntu.”
Marco Kastner: “We recently replaced IBM Power Systems running AIX with x86 running SUSE Linux.”
“Can you briefly say how many servers you currently have in use and what software you use on them?”
Otmar Meier: „On the approx. 400 VMs running Linux, mostly SUSE Linux with SAP ERP, Siemens Teamcenter, Oracle Middleware and databases, but also free software runs.” Microsoft ADS, Exchange and industry software is operated on the approximately 500 VMs running Windows.”
„Why were you looking for an automation solution?”
Otmar Meier: “We were looking for a comprehensive solution for Linux that addresses the issues of automated deployment, configuration management, repository management, and upgrade and patch management. For this purpose, the solution should not be a home-made product, but a product with releases, maintenance and service”.
Marco Kastner: „SUSE was about to switch from SMT to RMT. First experiences with Puppet were mixed, Ansible looked promising. A central location for administrative tasks was desired.”
„How and why did you become aware of the orcharhino?”
Otmar Meier: „While visiting the Chemnitzer Linux Tage I came across the booth of ATIX. We had previously made the strategic decision to consolidate to x86. The concrete task was to replace about 80 AIX LPARs with VMs running SUSE Linux”.
“How have your data center operations changed since you deployed orcharhino?”
Marco Kastner: „The provision of VMs with SUSE Linux for different requirements (SAP Application Server, Oracle DB Server) could be mapped via host groups. The automated deployment accelerated the migration project. Ansible is used during the initial deployment but also afterwards to make adjustments.“
Otmar Meier: „With orcharhino we have uniform processes and a central tool for the Linux team”.
„What are you currently planning or which feature do you wish for the orcharhino?
Otmar Meier: „One of the next steps will be patch management with orcharhino.”
Marco Kastner: „The deployment of Ubuntu is currently being tested.”