As one of the largest online agencies in Germany, Berlin-based company Neofonie accompanies local businesses on their journey to digital business. For its customers, the digital agency develops customized websites, web applications and online stores. Neofonie has been employing Berlin-based business host mpex for web hosting services since 2004. Neofonie completely trusts in the professional services provided by mpex for various projects and connected computing capacities.
Summary of the case study
- The customer
- The challenge
With mpex, companies are able to concentrate fully on their own core competencies. When it came to restructuring the network for Neofonie, it quickly became apparent that the new infrastructure was supposed to be more powerful and future-proof. In addition to a significantly higher bandwitdh of 10 gigabit/s, increasing reliable operation was also an important aspect. Finally, the solution was supposed to be budget-friendly, and effortlessly grow with growing challenges.
- The solution
Neofonie uses dozens of servers. For the reason, it soon became obvious that only 10 gigabit switches would be used. A multi-chassis link aggregation increases the reliability in this context. Equipped with 40 gigabit/s, the uplink ports ensure smooth data transfer.
The complete infrastructure is based on the open networking principle. Hardware and software were put together based on Neofonie's desires and requirements. The hardware used comes from Edgecore. The switches were designed for use in data centers that demand extremely high levels of availability, efficiency and performance. Their identity contained pica8 software, a Linux-based operating system.
Neofonie's technicians especially appreciate the smooth deployment of their software packages. The high 10 gigabit bandwidth was an important success factor. Docker-image artifacts find their way to the server in seconds. Therefore, the customer does not have to worry about downtime and technicians can plan updates more flexibly. Even in the event of a failure, it is possible to access backup and recovery data faster, in order to make the site available again in less time. Neofonie has been using the new technology successfully since October 2018. The manufacturer independence in the flexible combination of hardware and software optimizes costs and is also an investment in the future.
In the following paragraphs, you will learn more about the new IT infrastructure planning process for our client Neofonie and their background. As a business host certified by ISO-27001, we have the highest demands in our IT infrastructure. In this case study, you will learn what role a consistent pursuit of the open networking principle plays in this context.
The Berlin-based software manufacturer: Neofonie
As one of the largest internet agencies in Germany, the Berlin-based company Neofonie accompanies local companies into digital business. For its customers, the agency develops customized websites, web applications and stores. Brands, such as the Wort & Bild publishing house, Leica Camera AG, mobile.de, or SUPER RTL have been putting their trust in the software manufacturer for many years. Neofonie also relies on experience and expertise in web hosting; The agency has been working with business host mpex since 2004.
Neofonie's core tasks include software development and operation. In order to make the deployment of new software packages as comfortable as possible, Neofonie now relies on the latest technology.Learn more about Neofonie
mpex supports companies in being able to concentrate fully on their own core competencies. In many cases, there is a lack of expertise in the field of networks and resources for an internal solution are scarce. Certifications, high availability, seamless documentation – business hosting goes beyond mere computing capacities. Managed hosting optimizes the cost-benefit ratio.
The demands that are placed on network environments are rising steadily: Large image files, uninterrupted videos and a generally fast working website that avoids irritating the user with long waiting times. However, especially in the deployment of new software, Neofonie required high levels of reliability and more bandwidth for their own projects.
Given a long-term planning period of 5-10 years, a technology that is future-proof and can easily grow with the demands was needed.
10 gigabit switches offer higher bandwidth for smooth data transfer and deployment that is faster and easier to plan for technicians.
In the case of Neofonie, which operates dozens of servers, it was soon obvious that future-safe 10 gigabit switches would be used. A multi-chassis link aggregation increases reliability. To seamlessly compensate for the failure of one of the two devices, each server is connected to two redundant switches. In addition, both connections can be used at the same time to achieve a bandwidth of 20 gigabit/s. Equipped with 40 gigabit/s, the uplink ports ensure smooth data transfer. This makes it possible to realize an even higher bandwidth within the customer's network.
In terms of hardware, we decided to use switches by Edgecore. These were designed for use in data centers that demand extremely high levels of availability, efficiency and performance. With a port density of 48 connectors, they offer numerous, fast ports at a good price. In comparison to the use of proprietary hardware and software, open source systems save up to 50 percent in terms of costs and also provide a very flexible system.
In order to achieve a very customized solution, the customer actively takes part in designing the network environment along with mpex and determines which bandwidth should be available.We are happy to advise you!
Open source software is not a niche technology
Amazon, Google, and Facebook made relevant contributions in the development of open networking switches. Standard, proprietary networks no longer sufficed for their hyperscale requirements with very specific, unique applications. For this reason, they started building hardware for the software that was developed in house. Particular standards were established in order to also be able to provide the switches to other users, which makes it possible to combine hardware and software from various manufacturers independently of each other.
The Linux-based operating system from pica8 enables the installation of monitoring, automation and documentation applications on the network switches, thus offering a wide range of customization options. New software can be installed at short notice if there is a change in demand or use of the switch.
“In the development and operation of our customer projects, there is no leeway for technology that does not guarantee a high level of performance, safety, and reliability."
Andre Hirsinger, Technical Chief of Application Service Providing at Neofonie
Benefits and conclusion
The solution for highly-efficient networks combines systems by Edgecore and pica8 with mpex managed hosting for highly available operation. The redundant systems minimize the probability of failure.
Neofonie's technicians especially appreciate the new convenience in deploying their software packages. Docker-image artifacts, which are continuously getting bigger, find their way to the service in seconds, rather than minutes. This enables technicians to plan updates more flexibly and the customer does not have to worry about downtimes for their website. In this context, the high 10 gigabit bandwidth was an important success factor. Even in the event of a failure, it is possible to access backup and recovery data without losing time, in order to make the site available again in less time. For administrators, the new technical opportunities translate to an increased feel-good factor. This is because every problem and each selection is accompanied by less time for important development projects.
Neofonie customers benefit from fast data processing, also while looking at pre-live sites. The consultant can switch between different applications without delay. Instead of screenshots, websites can be presented in the way they are actually intended.
In addition, big data analyses with large data headers are accelerated. In contrast to processing, moving the large amounts of data does not take as much time. However, it is a great benefit to send data for processing quickly and without losing time.
Neofonie has been using the new technology successfully since October 2018. The manufacturer independence in the flexible combination of hardware and software optimizes costs and is also an investment in the future. One aspect of this is the sustainability of these systems. Hardware components require many valuable raw materials. Constant replacement just because the software is no longer supported or the current role of the hardware is no longer needed is extremely harmful to the environment. Open networking enables the reuse of precious hardware by adjusting the software.
Privacy is another very important aspect. There are no safety-relevant backdoors in open networking. As network operators, this provides us with more options to audit the software ourselves than is possible with proprietary hardware using the corresponding software. Sensitive data are safe thanks to the use of coordinated technologies and the high, ISO-certified safety standards.
Open networking offers many advantages, not only for the hosts and their customers, but also for end users and the environment. With these solutions, scaling, adjusting and new orientation are no longer unsolvable tasks that span weeks and months.
Considering a constant change in requirements and a heightened environmental consciousness, open networking is not only the logical technology of the future, but also of the present. The technology is available and ready to use.We are happy to advise you!
Digital perfection: Digital development and hosting from a single source
Ever more elaborate corporate websites require increasingly more bandwidth and speeds, as well as guaranteed reliability. Neofonie's technological backbone is based on the services and technology of mpex. In this context, open networking is the foundation of our work to provide the necessary performance. Furthermore, performance and security are at the center of all our actions.
"We look back on a long, mutually profitable partnership and we are sure that the joint development will last for a long time." Andre Hirsinger, Technical Chief of Application Service Providing at Neofonie Digital Agency, has been working as a partner with mpex for years.
Read the full article to learn more about the win-win-win-win situation for Neofonie, mpex, customers and end users thanks to the newly development hosting environment.
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