When the eldest of the family, Koca Mustafa Bey first arrived to Istanbul in 1880s to start up his vessel repair shop, he probably didn’t expect what would eventually become of his business, let alone what modern technological challenges it would face. More than a hundred years later İÇDAŞ, Turkish giant in the steel industry, needed to replace its outdated network infrastructure in order to keep a firm grip on its market position. Extreme Networks was there to help respond to the challenges brought by the “fourth industrial revolution”.
İÇDAŞ has been producing construction and alloyed steel since 1970 and with its production capacities, it is the second biggest steel manufacturer in Turkey. Being aware of the strategic significance of steel industry for the Turkish economy, the company strives to remain the market leader, placing particular emphasis on product quality and technological advancement. In time, the outdated network infrastructure began to hinder those efforts.
This is why in 2017 İÇDAŞ decided to renew its network infrastructure thoroughly, with the help of Extreme Networks’ advanced solutions and professional support from our Turkish Partner – Isnet Servis, expert in redesigning, planning of campus networks and assembly of products.
System Administrator of İÇDAŞ Recep Dayı goes into details and explains the reason behind their infrastructure replacement decision: “Requirements brought by the fourth industrial revolution and digitalization also lead to the need of fast, continuous and qualified service for communication infrastructures of data-gathering systems, especially those located in production sites. In this context, our organization had concluded that the network infrastructure of production sites at that time required improvement, and therefore started new product and technology research works.”
Isnet Enterprise Accounts Sales Director Erkan Türkkan describes the identified challenges which needed to be addressed: “The campus at İÇDAŞ production facility in Biga, Turkey has a distributed network topology, a consequence of geographical location. This situation had been creating some infrastructure difficulties to our customer, especially in terms of cabling and the management of active devices. These difficulties, combined with the necessity of easy management, system backup and network security, led us to include reliable Extreme Networks solutions in the project.”
Extreme Networks means exceeding expectations
One of the most vital requirements of the project was to create a smooth transition between the old and new network infrastructure, causing as little business processes interruptions as possible.
Erkan Türkkan recalls the briefing process from Isnet’s perspective: “During the investment phase, we conducted satisfying and effective meetings with our client and our friends from sales and technical departments at Extreme Networks. Together, we managed to clearly identify İÇDAŞ’s expectations, share our thoughts on how to best tackle these needs, and provide accurate project drawings, presentations and technical details. It was important for us to be able to make an on-site visit and evaluate issues and demands with a hands-on approach.”
Recep Dayı explains the reason behind İÇDAŞ choosing Extreme Networks solutions: “As a consequence of discussions and evaluations, we have decided to move forward with Extreme Networks ERS and VSP series products. While many manufacturers support fabric technology for data center products only, Extreme Networks can implement this technology to campus applications as well. Also, prior to the network infrastructure modernization, we had had very positive experiences with the Extreme Networks solutions, namely the ease of management and quality of hardware.”
Extreme Networks Account Manager Umut Altun comments the choice: “The experienced IT staff at İÇDAŞ had a fairly clear idea about what solution they wanted to have. Extreme Networks Campus Fabric technology cranked this expectation up a notch! During our demos we had a chance to experience high stability, easy management and security principles, just as we discussed in the prior meetings. I think this is what convinced İÇDAŞ to our proposition.”
New network infrastructure was commissioned at the end of June 2018. In consequence of meticulous planning and design, 97 Switches in 70 different locations of campus have been successfully replaced in project which has been conducted without any outage causing interruption in business processes other than short-term local outages.
Fabric – a technology for future
Along with the elimination of potential capacity problems, Erkan Türkkan points towards additional benefits of the improved infrastructure: “We replaced products that had no manufacturer support nor the ability to meet the current demand. Thanks to the Switch Fabric technology implemented in new Extreme Solutions products, we were able to design an infrastructure that was not only suitable for a distributed topology, but also provided advanced solutions for network security and management, as well as different backup options, enabling İÇDAŞ to expand the campus network in the future.
Umut Altun also mentions that the project was completed in a short time: “We started our journey by replacing the old network switches used on site and creating a complete Campus Fabric solution application, including Extreme Management and Extreme Control software. The replacement of prior infrastructure took only two months, without causing any ad hoc interruptions.”
Recep Dayı expressed his satisfaction with the elimination of numerous technical issues and goes on to talk about future plans of İÇDAŞ: “We avoided possible STP-related issues in production site campus network and provided extraordinary labor and convenience in VLAN management. We are planning to implement similar infrastructure to our other production sites in the foreseeable future. As İÇDAŞ, we would like to express our big thank you to Extreme Networks and Isnet team who made a great effort during this project.”
Becoming friends with digital transformation
The successful story not only resulted in client’s satisfaction, but also allowed to lay solid foundations for a long-term cooperation based on competence and mutual trust between İÇDAŞ, Isnet Servis and Extreme Networks. Umut Altun does not hide his satisfaction with how the whole process transpired: “Before we prepared our proposition and tried to express ourselves, we listened to the client. Seeing what great value our solutions add to their vision, İÇDAŞ decided set off on this journey with us. It felt great to have such a good understanding and work towards common goals. The new network infrastructure, with the easy management and added security, allows the IT staff to shift their focus to more important matters, making İÇDAŞ ready to meet the challenges of industry 4.0.”