The Bosch Group has 40 locations throughout its Southwest region in Germany. The sites are networked and supported by seven managers from two different locations. Unfortunately, like many IT teams, managers are overburdened and armed with a variety of complex tools that make the network troubleshooting process cumbersome and tedious. To streamline the work, increase collaboration and speed problem resolution, the company needed a new, single integrated solution for network and application analysis.
NetScout OptiView® XG Network Analysis Tablet
The Bosch Group standardized worldwide on NetScout OptiView XG Network Analysis Tablet, and has already reduced troubleshooting time by at least two-thirds. In addition, they can now constantly monitor all networks and applications remotely, and collaborate with other managers around the world using the tablet. Finally, when new site acquisitions occur, the team used to spend close to a week trying to inventory the new network. Now, with the OptiView XG, a manager can head into the field with the tablet and do a complete inventory in one day.
The Bosch Group provides technology and services worldwide to industries such as automotive, industrial technology, consumer goods and building technology. The company consists of Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 350 subsidiaries and regional companies in approximately 60 countries. Bosch continues to invest significantly in research and development and has applied for more than 4,000 patents worldwide.
"It's hard to imagine our team efficiently performing their IT duties without the OptiView XG. It's our worldwide standard for network analysis and troubleshooting at Bosch. Having a solution that is not only flexible in terms of remotely troubleshooting or being taken into the field, combined with its ability to automate the analysis process and then give the manager the ability to dig into specific packet level information, is unique in the market. It allows us to complete critical projects on time and solve problems really fast."
– A Network Manager at Bosch Group
The network management team provides network support to thousands of Bosch employees throughout Germany. They operate the network with seven managers spread across two different facilities. The properties they manage range from small sites of 20 people using 100 access ports to large sites with 15,000 ports and 500 network components. Unfortunately, like many IT teams, the managers are overburdened and armed with a variety of complex tools that make the network troubleshooting process cumbersome and tedious.
"The network is a critical part of Bosch operations and our IT team is responsible for monitoring these networks and ensuring the performance of business-critical applications for production, sales, engineering and general business. This work proved complex, given cumbersome tools that required manual correlation of data or endless hours of hunting to find root cause," said a network manager at the Bosch Group. "Making matters worse, many of our managers also have other critical job functions, so troubleshooting the network is not their only priority."
Case in point, network managers frequently needed to monitor several networks across the region to inventory end-user systems and identify problems, such as duplicate IP addresses. This simple action required at least one to plug into each server (often times traveling to a remote site to do so), or portion of the network, to manually identify components. It then required a second manual step to correlate and analyze the information.
"What we really needed was one standardized system that could gather and analyze the data," said the network manager.
Not having a standardized solution also made collaboration worldwide challenging. Different managers using different tools to collect data, often resulting in debates on information from different sources. This would negatively impact collaboration regionally, and all but eliminate regional teams' ability to share knowledge worldwide because they weren't looking at the same data set.
"In addition to existing challenges, we're also called upon to inventory new sites that we gain through acquisition. This required mapping the VLAN and associated end-to-end user systems to identify potential problems or risks," said the network manager. "It could take as much as a week to go onsite and physically locate and plug into components to get an overall picture of the network."
To meet the organization's worldwide need for automated network and application analysis, Bosch selected the OptiView XG Network Analysis Tablet. It gives the organization the ability to quickly troubleshoot issues and identify root cause. And, with its support for 10GbE, it can be used in any environment, whether in a data center with virtualized servers or remotely in the field. Its intuitive user interface with smart navigation and built-in guided problem solving allows the Bosch team to leverage customizable dashboards to view data as needed. And, OptiView XG's graphical path analysis and network navigator provide an instant view of connections between switches and devices, speeding the time it takes to map the network.
"OptiView XG provides a level of insight that wasn't available to us before. It takes massive amounts of information on every aspect of the network and automatically correlates that information to present actionable information to solve problems fast," said the network manager. "And while it is excellent in the field, it is also a great tool to have plugged into the network on your desk, monitoring or remotely troubleshooting issues. The level of functionality is astounding. We can literally conduct network and application analysis for the wired, wireless or virtualized environments, all through one interface."
When problems do emerge on the networks the Bosch team manages (which is not often anymore), they go straight to the OptiView XG to evaluate the problem.
"I estimate we've reduce our troubleshooting time by two-thirds, eliminating the need for multiple tools and automating the analysis process," said the network manager. "And, because of the tool's functionality, we can get to the real root cause to fix the issue so it doesn't affect the business in the future.
"It's hard to imagine our team efficiently performing their IT duties without the OptiView XG," continues the network manager. "It's our worldwide standard for network analysis and troubleshooting at Bosch. Having a solution that is not only flexible in terms of remotely troubleshooting or being taken into the field, combined with its ability to automate the analysis process and then give the manager the ability to dig into specific packet level information, is unique in the market. It enables us to complete critical projects on time and solve problems really fast."