Founded in 1928 in Isny by Walter Seitz, Autohaus Gruppe Seitz is a family-run auto dealership network located in the Allgäu area of Germany. Over the years, the company has undergone constant expansion and is enjoying a highly successful period. Across 21 locations the dealership offers cars from VW, Audi, Skoda, SEAT and Porsche, selling to private, wholesale and corporate customers. Autohaus Gruppe Seitz provides customers with knowledge and support to choose the right vehicle, and delivers high quality workshop service. In 2018, the dealership group employed more than 1000 people.
The challenge of digitization
Autohaus Seitz Group had not attempted to modernize their IT infrastructure for some time, and while it hadn’t hindered them too greatly, Max Berndt, head of the 5-person IT department, was very keen to carry out a refresh. Old hardware, no longer able to meet the demands of the digital age, was replaced, allowing the company to take advantage of modern features such as redundancy, and high application performance which they acknowledge are now enormously important for them. Flexibility and scalability were considerations too – as the dealership grows in the future, so the solution will need to as well.
Following a thorough analysis by the installation partner, the decision was taken to adopt a hyperconverged solution from Cisco and StorMagic. Autohaus Seitz Group saw the advantages of a well-integrated, easily managed solution with simplified operations and low costs. This was achieved by using Cisco UCS C240 rack servers and StorMagic SvSAN. The solution was up and running in no time and delivered a stable, highly available environment for the company’s enterprise applications.
Massive performance gains
The virtualized infrastructure houses the Terminal Server as well as branch-specific applications. The difference in speed was clearly noticeable – Autohaus Seitz Group saw a three-fold improvement in performance when using Cisco UCS servers and StorMagic SvSAN.
“Performance was essential for us. We cannot afford to spend half a day waiting for data imports. With the new solution the speed has increased enormously and positive feedback from our users confirm this.” Max Berndt, Head of IT at Autohaus Gruppe Seitz
Compute, storage and network under one roof
Instead of separately running compute and storage over a network with higher latency, greater effort and less reliability, a hyperconverged solution from Cisco simplifies the entire process. A redundant 10Gb network connection assures performance and high availability – more than half of all components can fail without a loss of data. Furthermore, with a great deal of flexibility inherent within the solution, Max and his team are prepared for growth or change in their future requirements, giving them peace of mind.
The future lies in the cloud
Max Berndt and Autohaus Seitz Group are at the forefront of the shift in strategy towards the cloud. Partially outsourcing workloads to the cloud relieves on-premises infrastructure and reduces administration and management. The hybrid cloud model brings a number of benefits to small and medium-sized businesses and allows them to remain agile and flexible when engaging customers.
“Keeping an on-premises solution was important for us, but the ability to outsource certain workloads to the cloud gives us the capacity and resources for future digital projects, should we need it.” Max Berndt, Head of IT at Autohaus Gruppe Seitz