Harro Höfliger

Efficient IT environment for home office connection

Harro Höfliger needed a high-performance, scalable and highly available IT infrastructure. The
medium-sized company had therefore introduced a hyper-converged solution, FUJITSU Integrated
System PRIMEFLEX for VMware vSAN, as early as 2018. This system was continuously expanded
by increasing the number of nodes from 10 to 21 over the last few years. As a result, a stable
remote environment for employees working from home could be established within a short
period of time during the pandemic.

Challenge

Harro Höfliger needed a high-performance, flexibly scalable and highly available IT infrastructure.

Solution

  • FUJITSU Integrated System PRIMEFLEX for VMware vSAN
  • 21 nodes distributed to two   clusters

Outcomes

  • Fast and flexible scaling of  the computing, storage and network resources within   the same solution
  • Easy administration of the entire server and storage infrastructure
  • Fast remote access to the  CAD application, thanks to  virtual desktop infrastructure
  • Stable IT operation even  during the pandemic, thanks   to fast integration of the VDI  environment as well as PRIMEFLEX Solution Support.
With Fujitsu, we were able to consolidate what had been a heterogeneous system world and make it less complex.

 Karsten Ehrlich, Director of IT, Harro Höfliger Verpackungsmaschinen GmbH

>100

employees were able to set up a connection from their home offices quickly and easily, thanks to the vSAN infrastructure

  • Industry:   Machinery and plant engineering
  • Country:    Germany
  • Employees:   1,500
  • Customer's website

The customer

Harro Höfliger develops and manufactures production and packaging systems and offers comprehensive consulting services as well as other services for the entire product life cycle. Its customers include pharmaceutical and medical technology companies, such as BioNTech SE. Founded in 1975, the company has a machine portfolio that covers all phases of industrialization, from laboratory work to production.

Strict requirements for security and stability in production processes

Harro Höfliger plays a key role in packaging vials containing the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech. The manufacturer supplies the packaging machines used for this purpose and operates critical infrastructures (KRITIS) according to the legal requirements in effect in Germany. "We must therefore meet particularly strict requirements in terms of the failure tolerance of the systems and the stability of the production processes, which means we need a high-performance IT infrastructure," explains Karsten Ehrlich, Director of IT at Harro Höfliger.

Hyper-converged infrastructure makes administration easy

In 2018, the Select Expert Partner EBF Systec developed a concept for changing over to a hyper-converged IT infrastructure with PRIMEFLEX for VMware vSAN. This is an integrated system that combines computing, storage, software and network resources in one system and which is configured and administered centrally via the VMware vCenter management tool. FUJITSU PRIMERGY RX2540 servers are uses as the hardware base. Harro Höfliger can thus very quickly and flexibly scale computing or storage capacities within a short period of time. The integrated PRIMEFLEX Solution Support package covers all components of the solution, offers a fast response to potential disturbances, and thereby ensures stable IT operation.

The entire company has also long relied on other Fujitsu products, such as the ETERNUS AF 250 storage solution, as well as workplace products such as LIFEBOOK notebooks and CELSIUS workstations. Due to vigorous expansion, Harro Höfliger needed additional capacities in order to support the stricter requirements. Fujitsu is therefore continuously expanding the existing infrastructure and has increased the number of nodes from 10 to 21 in recent years. "We especially appreciate the ability to work in close partnership with Fujitsu's consultants, who are always on hand with helpful advice," confirms Karsten Ehrlich

Easy remote connection through virtual desktop infrastructure

Approximately 300 applications run on the IT infrastructure, including the proALPHA ERP system and the Creo 3D CAD application, which Harro Höfliger uses to design packaging systems. Virtualization made it possible to minimize the transfer of CAD data, which significantly increases the application's performance and security. "Over the past few years, the systems have greatly exceeded the performance we had hoped for according to the PoC. Based on these excellent results, we have continuously expanded the environment and consistently migrated legacy systems to vSAN. This enabled us to consolidate our systems and reduce the overall complexity of what had up to then been a heterogeneous system world. The hyper-converged private cloud proved its true performance in the early days of the Covid lockdown. In just a few days, we virtualized dozens of CAD workstations and made them available via the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). This permitted high-performance environments for users whose Internet connections would not otherwise have allowed them to work efficiently," Karsten Ehrlich concludes.

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