The broadband connection is a decisive factor both for the general attractiveness and for the economic prospects of a region. With this in mind, Städtische Werke Überlandwerke Coburg GmbH (SÜC), regional provider of energy, water and mobility, took over the expansion of the local fibre optic network with around 40,000 km of fibre a few years ago, and has been supplying the North-Western area of Oberfranken, Germany with high-speed internet since 2011.
As a subsidiary, SÜC // Dacor GmbH has been providing private and business customers in the region with a wide variety of telecommunications and Internet offers such as high-definition TV, Voice-over-IP and broadband internet, and is also responsible for the development and maintenance of various network solutions for companies.
A constantly growing heterogeneous infrastructure
In order to keep the product portfolio future-proof, the network infrastructure based on the fibre optic network is constantly being expanded. “In addition to the growing demand, new services and current security standards must also be implemented dynamically”, explains Thorsten Seufert, Head of the Data Networks Department at SÜC. “Thus, new technologies from various vendors are continuously implemented to interact within our high-performance infrastructure.”
In particular, the fast release cycles of new software versions present a challenge. Changes can easily lead to unexpected complications and failures in the interaction of the components. Network operation in general is also becoming more and more complex due to the increasing complexity and requires both appropriate manpower and specific specialist knowledge. Thus, it is clear to those responsible that sooner or later, the network management has to be optimised and operations simplified so that the quality and availability of the services are ensured and the SÜC engineers are relieved at the same time.
Automation and central network management StableNet ® from Infosim
At the end of 2019, SÜC therefore decided to exchange ideas with integration and maintenance partner Xantaro. “We have been working with Xantaro for many years, so far mainly in the area of routing and switching technologies. The team specialises in high-availability networks and knows the technical and operational challenges we face operating a business-critical IT infrastructure”, says Thorsten Seufert. Thereupon, Xantaro introduced StableNet ® Enterprise to SÜC, the enterprise version of the StableNet ® software from the German vendor and Xantaro partner Infosim.
StableNet ® is a highly automated network management tool for the central monitoring and administration of systems, applications and services. The advantages of the solution for SÜC become clear during a demonstration:
- The central, cross-vendor and cross-technology tool significantly reduces the complexity and operating costs of heterogeneous infrastructures.
- Comprehensive monitoring functions ensure full transparency of the services and components and facilitate network monitoring, event and error management.
- Automated configuration and performance management optimises the roll-out of software releases including automatic backup storage.
The decision was made shortly afterwards and SÜC commissioned Xantaro to set up the solution. After integration into the network, the SÜC employees take part in customer-specific training and now use the software in everyday network operations.
However, the value-add of the platform extends not only to the network infrastructure in the traditional sense, but also to other areas of the company. In addition to the automation options in the fibre optic and core network, there are also possible use cases in SÜC’s Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN).
Smart City – the use cases are diverse
LoRaWAN technology was developed in connection with the Internet of Things (IoT) and enables the extremely energy-efficient transmission of simple measured values and impulses from countless spatially distributed sensors. In SÜC’s business areas relating to energy, water and mobility, there are numerous use cases in many areas of daily life and in public spaces such as for parking or traffic monitoring, for reading consumption meters, etc. SÜC and SÜC // Dacor have already installed the first environmental sensors in the Coburg region, which now regularly provide their measured values for temperature and humidity via LoRaWAN.
As a comprehensive management tool, StableNet ® also provides new possibilities in this area. For example, temperature, humidity and precipitation data on important roads can be monitored so that measures such as the use of gritting trucks in winter can be initiated early and reliably.
“With StableNet ® Enterprise, Xantaro hit the bull’s eye for us! The high level of automation makes day-to-day network operations much easier,” explains Thorsten Seufert. “Our broadband customers are already benefiting from the improved availability of Internet services. And we did not expect that monitoring and administration could also be extended to our entire data infrastructure and that we would also benefit from other business areas. Fortunately, with Xantaro we have the right advisor at our side!”
For further Information on SÜC visit www.suec.de
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StableNet ® Enterprise
- growing demand and continuous implementation of new services and current security standards
- ensuring service quality and availability facing increasing complexity and fast software release cycles
SOLUTION & IMPLEMENTATION
- introduction and demonstration of StableNet ® Enterprise for
– the automation of configuration and performance management
– an increase in transparency in the network
– simplification of monitoring, event and fault management
- setup and integration of the software into the network
- training of the SÜC engineers
- improved availability of Internet services by facilitating day-to-day network ope- rations and optimising management
- option to expand monitoring and administration functions to further network areas