Ready for new cloud services with Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM)

In June, 2013, PIRONET NDH with a view to the extension of its Cloud Services converted the Hamburg “CityNetz” network to active optical transport technology. Xantaro developed the design and ensured the smooth implementation by pre-staging and testing the new infrastructure.

 

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There is no business without a fast and secure business network – this goes just as much for cloud computing provider PIRONET NDH as for its customers. Focused specifically on the needs of medium-sized businesses, the company headquartered in Cologne offers a wide range of cloud services: from simple storage-on-demand all the way to full Windows work stations and applications critical in business such as SAP. To ensure its cloud services high availability, performance and security, PIRONET NDH is relying on two data centres in greater Hamburg, connected by the company’s “CityNetz“, a metropolitan area network. In addition, this network is the initial point of PIRONET NDH’s nationwide internet backbone with point-of-presence locations in numerous German cities offering business customers fast and secure access to the PIRONET NDH Business Cloud®.

“Medium-sized businesses today rightfully demand cloud computing services to meet the highest standards in performance, security and availability”, explains Lukas Lindner, Head of Network Infrastructure Services at PIRONET NDH. “In addition, in light of public discussions on data security and data protection the demand is increasing for our cloud services produced solely in Germany – that’s why we always plan enhancements to our infrastructure very carefully and early.”

 

Playing it safe when upgrading network technology with Xantaro

Thus in March 2013 the cloud provider decided to expand the capacities of its Hamburg CityNetz. Thus, the as yet passive optical network technology of the metro-area-network was to be upgraded to the active optical Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) technology. WDM uses the various wavelengths of light in a single fibre optic as separate channels for data transmission, therby increasing the bandwidth of the single fibre many times over.

“We have an excellent network engineering team ourselves”, Lindner says, “but when it comes to changing over an infrastructure this critical in business we wanted to play it safe. And we absolutely wanted to avoid impacting business. In these projects hands-on experience is very important. So we chose Xantaro to support us.” It wasn’t hard for PIRONET NDH to decide on Xantaro, headquartered in Hamburg, since the vendor-independent service integrator had already been a solid partner for the cloud provider in previous projects.

 

Learn and join instead of depending on the provider

After completing the requirements review Xantaro designed the new network infrastructure and recommended a product for implementing the WDM technology. The TM series, by Swedish vendor Transmode, was selected since it is a proven system offering flexibility and scalability with a good price-performance ratio. But before the installation was started Xantaro provided a comprehensive classroom training for PIRONET NDH employees.

“For our future operations and managing our Hamburg network it was important for our team to understand exactly how the new WDM technology works”, Lukas Lindner explains. “We didn’t just want to commission the installation for the new technology but implement it together with Xantaro so we can learn and not always rely on the provider.” So the PIRONET NDH team received intensive, tailored two-day training before preparations for the joint installation were made.

 

Migration in only 2 hours thanks to detailed preparation
Afterwards, during pre-staging Xantaro and PIRONET NDH set up the entire system in a lab environment. For testing purposes the cards for data transmission were installed in racks, the Transmode system configured, and integrated into the PIRONET NDH management system. In addition, thresholds and transmission power were configured and all paths simulated with attention to detail.

“Xantaro’s migration plan was really well structured and accurate”, Lukas Lindner recalls. “All sorts of details were tested beforehand, and existing cards and plugs closely checked.” In addition, there was a rollback plan in case there were problems with the installation of the new system. However there were none: Xantaro and PIRONET NDH staff executed the conversion on a Friday night in June, 2013. Line by line, the existing fibre optics and routers from the old system were switched to the new Transmode systems. Everything ran smoothly and without disrupting operations.

 

Increasing capacities, expanding business potentials
Upgrading the technology of the metro-area-network to WDM technology was certainly worth it for PIRONET NDH. The bandwidth was increased 16-fold using the existing fibre optics: instead of 1×10 Gigabit/s the cloud provider now has a bandwidth of 16×10 Gigabit/s for transmitting data between data centres. The new solution is also expandable and flexible for configuring new scenarios. It is easy to manage and allows the necessary overview if there are network issues.

“The migration worked really great”, states a delighted Lukas Lindner. “Our expectations of our cooperation with Xantaro were well met – a very successful project: it gives us the necessary bandwidth and plenty of room to also offer new cloud services such as backup-as-a-service in the future, offering the familiar high security and reliability and to continue to be successful in the market.”

 


Further information: www.pironet-ndh.com

 


 

PROJECT-OVERVIEW


BACKGROUND

  • increasing demand of availability of the cloud services by business customers
  • increasing requirement for cloud services hosted in Germany due to security and compliance reasons

REQUIREMENTS

  • increase of performance
  • flexibility and sustainability
  • independence and simple handling
  • retention of security standards

CONCEPT & IMPLEMENTATION

  • infrastructure migration to WDM
  • training of network engineers
  • pre-staging including card mounting, system configuration and integration into the management system
  • simulation of all routes prior to the  migration and detailed planning including roll-back plan

RESULT

  • increase of bandwidth to 16×10 GB/s (scalable)
  • flexible configuration of new services
  • simple and clear management
  • retention of security standards