4-page Case Study
Posted: 3/8/2013
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ADVA Optical Networking SE Telecom Firm Upgrades Messaging to Increase Availability and Ease Administration

ADVA Optical Networking SE provides network equipment for data, storage, voice, and video services. To communicate with suppliers and customers, employees frequently use email. Recently the company began consolidating its Microsoft messaging solution into two main data centers. When it heard about architecture enhancements in Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, the company decided to initiate a pilot project to understand the potential benefits. ADVA expects that Exchange Server 2013 can help it reduce costs, ease administration, increase availability, and improve productivity.

Situation
Headquartered in Munich, Germany, ADVA Optical Networking SE provides network equipment for data, storage, voice, and video services. ADVA has a global workforce of over 1,000 employees and its Fiber Service Platform has been deployed in more than 250 carriers and 10,000 enterprises around the world.

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* The Exchange Administration Center gives us so much flexibility. For a global IT team that needs to be available 24/7, life is much easier because team members can manage the solution from anywhere. *

Bernd Schwenk
Vice President of IT, ADVA Optical Networking SE

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As a global organization, ADVA relies heavily on its Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 messaging solution to help its 1,300 employees communicate with each other in addition to partners, suppliers, and customers. It has also deployed Microsoft Lync Server 2013 for presence, instant messaging, online meetings, conferencing, and enterprise voice. Employees use Exchange Unified Messaging to access and respond to voice-mail messages through the Microsoft Outlook 2010 messaging and collaboration client. “Email is as critical as our ERP [enterprise resource planning] system,” says Bernd Schwenk, Vice President of IT at ADVA. “People use it on a daily basis, more than any other method of communication.”

Recently the company consolidated its Exchange Server 2010 deployment at its two main data centers in Munich, Germany, and Atlanta, Georgia. “The next step was for us to standardize the deployments at our main data centers to make administration easier and ensure high service levels across the organization,” explains Ricardo Costa da Silva, IT Administrator at ADVA.

Over the past several years, ADVA has seen rapid growth, adding up to 150 employees each year. The company wanted a way to provision new employees faster. In addition, the company continues to open new offices around the globe, which means that the messaging solution must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. ADVA wanted a highly available solution that would enable it to perform regular maintenance without having to take the system offline and disrupt business. It also wanted to help employees to be more productive from anywhere, whether they are traveling or working from home.

Solution
When ADVA heard about the architecture enhancements available with Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, it wanted to understand how the latest solution could help the organization. After a successful pilot program, the company decided to deploy Exchange Server 2013 in production. At each of its main data centers in Munich and Atlanta, it is deploying two physical mailbox servers in addition to two virtualized Client Access Servers running on Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V that are load balanced using Windows network load balancing. For high availability, ADVA is deploying the Mailbox servers in a database availability group with two copies of each mailbox database.

For storage, ADVA is deploying an EMC storage-area network (SAN) with tiered storage at each data center. Because Exchange Server 2013 manages data efficiently and delivers a 50 percent IOPS (I/O operations per second) reduction relative to Exchange Server 2010, ADVA is taking advantage of lower-cost SATA disks for the Exchange Server 2013 data.

ADVA is using role-based access control to create custom scope-based roles so that administrators at each office can manage mailboxes for their sites without affecting other sites. Administrators can complete management tasks using the Exchange Administration Center, which is available through a browser, from any location. “We have a limited IT team, and sometimes they have to work in the evenings or on weekends,” says Schwenk. “With the Exchange Administration Center, they can administer Exchange Server from anywhere.”

The company also uses Windows PowerShell 3.0 to automate tasks. “We have a human resources system that creates a ticket when new employees are hired,” explains Schwenk. “As part of the process, we have created a script to provision Exchange Server, Lync Server, and Active Directory.”

Employees at ADVA use Exchange ActiveSync to access email and calendars on their mobile phones. To access email when working from home or from remote locations, they can use Microsoft Outlook Web App, which they can access through most browsers. They can also use the offline feature in Outlook Web App to access email when they are somewhere—such as on an airplane—with limited Internet access. ADVA is also enabling interoperation between Outlook Web App and Microsoft Office Web Apps so that employees can access and edit attachments through a browser.

Benefits
By upgrading to Exchange Server 2013, ADVA can continue its server consolidation efforts to help ease administration in addition to ensuring availability and helping employees work more efficiently.

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* The ability to open an attachment in Outlook Web App and then read and edit the document through the Office Web Apps also means people can get more work done whether they are using a laptop or a tablet. *

Ricardo Costa da Silva
IT Administrator, ADVA Optical Networking SE

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Eases Administration
By deploying Exchange Server 2013, ADVA can consolidate its messaging solution without additional management burden for its data center administrators. With role-based access control, IT administrators at the main data centers can share tasks with IT administrators in regional offices, which helps to balance the workload. In addition, administrators at regional offices no longer have to log on to the system remotely to manage mailboxes. Instead, they can use the Exchange Administration Center from any browser. “The Exchange Administration Center gives us so much flexibility,” says Schwenk. “For a global IT team that needs to be available 24/7, life is much easier because team members can manage the solution from anywhere.”

The IT team can also automate more tasks. “We used to have to add mailboxes for new employees manually, but with PowerShell we can automate those tasks and save a lot of time,” says Schwenk.

Increases Availability
Because ADVA is implementing database availability groups in Exchange Server 2013, it can ensure that the messaging service is available when people need it. “With database availability groups, we can easily take down servers for regular maintenance without having to take the service offline,” says Schwenk. “ Database availability groups really help us boost availability.”

Improves Productivity
ADVA believes that access to Outlook Web App—especially offline access—will help employees be more productive when they work from home or from remote locations. “With Outlook Web App, employees get a similar look and feel to the full Outlook client through a browser,” says da Silva. “The ability to open an attachment in Outlook Web App and then read and edit the document through the Office Web Apps also means people can get more work done whether they are using a laptop or a tablet.”

Schwenk adds, “A major goal for IT has been to provide easy access to information from anywhere. Outlook Web App helps us accomplish that goal.”

Reduces Ongoing Costs
ADVA has experienced up to 10 percent annual growth of its workforce over the last few years. With its Exchange Server 2013 implementation that actively uses all of the server hardware, it can easily accommodate that growth without having to add new servers. “Usually we would have to think about adding new hardware every two to three years, but with the architecture of Exchange Server 2013, we don’t have to worry about that,” says Schwenk. In addition, ADVA saves money for storage, because it can use lower-cost SATA disks.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 enables you to increase user productivity and keep your organization safe, while staying in control of your environment, both online and on-premises. With Exchange Server 2013, you can help your users manage increasing volumes of email and work together more effectively as teams, while protecting business communications and sensitive information as you meet internal and regulatory compliance requirements.

For more information about Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, go to:
www.microsoft.com/exchange

For More Information
For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
www.microsoft.com

For more information about ADVA Optical Networking SE products and services, visit the website at:
www.advaoptical.com

Solution Overview



Organization Size: 1000 employees

Organization Profile

ADVA Optical Networking SE has a global workforce of over 1,000 employees and its Fiber Service Platform has been deployed in more than 250 carriers and 10,000 enterprises around the world.


Business Situation

ADVA wanted to consolidate its messaging infrastructure while also ensuring availability, easing administration, and improving productivity for its employees.


Solution

ADVA is deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 to take advantage of architecture enhancements and additional capabilities that will help it meet its goals.


Benefits

  • Increases availability
  • Eases administration
  • Improves productivity
  • Reduces ongoing costs


Software and Services
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
  • Microsoft Lync Server 2013
  • Microsoft Outlook 2010

Vertical Industries
Network Equipment Providers

Country/Region
Germany

Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Team Collaboration
  • Unified Communications
  • Data Protection and Recovery

IT Issue
Personal Productivity

Languages
English

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