Doing the housework: A new IT infrastructure for Wibu-Systems
- Wibu-Systems has rebuilt the IT infrastructure at its new Karlsruhe headquarters from the ground up
- Availability, security, and redundancy are the design principles, chosen with support from the IT service specialists at Leitwerk
- New server clusters, Datacore memory management, and the vSphere virtualization platform form the backbone with smart load balancing and disc-and-tape backup for added performance and reliability
- The new setup complies with the specifications for an Information Management System as defined by the ISO 27001 standard
Wibu-Systems, the pioneering maker of software protection, licensing of digital assets, and IT security technologies from Karlsruhe, has completely redesigned and rebuilt its own IT infrastructure. Made partly in cooperation with the specialists at Leitwerk, the optimized architecture complements the modern work environment at the company’s new Wibu-Systems campus.
With an all-new network infrastructure, a refashioned virtualization platform, and new and intelligently set-up server hardware, the substantial investment into the inner workings of its organization reflects Wibu-Systems commitment to substance over style. Like many companies in the IT industry and beyond, the security specialists from Karlsruhe had never neglected their own systems, but the constant trickle of upgrades and spot investments over time had led to the formation of a patchwork hardware and software landscape. With the move to the company’s new premises, the time seemed right for a wholescale shift to a new infrastructure to stay reliable, nimble, and scalable for the future of the business.
The IT service specialists of Leitwerk were brought on board to add a much-needed outside-in view and accompany the switch to the new systems. Several questions of principle had to be resolved before moving forward: The decision was taken to combine the formerly separate software development and build systems into a single environment without compromising on performance or reliability. Availability, security, and redundancy were picked as the design principles, leading the two companies involved in the project to opt for a vendor-agnostic, fully scalable, and easily expandable system, using industry-standard hardware and software.
On the ground, this meant the formation of new server clusters with Dell hardware, Datacore memory management, and vSphere from VMware as the virtualization platform: a three-level design that combines flexibility and performance with solid reliability. Virtual machines can be moved around on the go, smart load balancing keeps the system from being weighed down in busy times, and a two-phase disc-and-tape backup system was also built right into this new arrangement for added safety to allow for quick recovery should problems occur.
In physical terms, the opportunity of moving onto premises was taken to install completely new connections, with smart switches and VLANs for effective operations, a combination of two redundant fiber optic data highways linking the company to the outside world and a cleverly designed and, for security reasons, internally segmented system of conventional LAN and WLAN connections inside. Wifi coverage extends over the entire premises to facilitate working on the move. With dedicated generators and uninterrupted power supplies, the ability to quickly switch from one redundant connection to another in case of problems, and other safety and security systems fully integrated, the new infrastructure was meant from the start for operating reliably and securely under any conditions.
These substantial investments into the technical backbone of the company were not just motivated by a commitment to a modern, high-performance work environment. Another important consideration for Wibu-Systems and its cooperation with its clients and partners was compliance with the exacting requirements of the ISO 27001 standard. With its specifications for an ISMS (Information Security Management System), it represents a thorough and comprehensive approach to information security that is as carefully crafted and well-regarded as the quality handbook defined by ISO 9001, another standard that Wibu-Systems has been certified for (ISO 9001:2015).
Matching the careful thinking behind the architecture on the Wibu-Systems campus itself, the premises also include smart and sustainable solutions to make everything secure, powerful, and eco-friendly: This ranges from strong access controls and CCTV systems to more obvious assets like the photovoltaic panels supplying additional power to the site and the charging spots for electric vehicles.
This clean-slate approach to creating a new IT infrastructure matches the physical relocation of the company in its scale and ambition, and it sends a message to Wibu-Systems’ clients and partners: Like the security and licensing products and solutions they enjoy, the company itself is also built to stay innovative, secure, and reliable for the long term.
Oliver Winzenried, co-founder and CEO of Wibu-Systems, explains the thinking behind the investment: “IT security specialists like us know that you need to have your house in order if you want to stay on top of the trends and challenges ahead. That is why we decided to not simply patch and polish our existing systems, but to commit completely to a new, future-proof infrastructure to keep moving forward.”
Ralf Schaufler, Chairman LEITWERK AG, echoes “Our work with WIBU-SYSTEMS AG proved extremely constructive from the very beginning, and there was cooperation and trust with each other at all times. LEITWERK managed to find exactly the right solution for this complex project that meets all the current and future needs of our client. We used state-of-the-art virtualization layers and a backup environment that form the perfect basis for continued growth. The project went smoothly and perfectly on time, thanks to the excellent preparation on the side of WIBU-SYSTEMS and the close cooperation between us.”
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