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Implementation diary #1

28 May 2021 | Case Studies Network Configuration

Customer acquisition 

We have established cooperation with a Polish company operating in the e-commerce industry. The client serves large entities such as eObuwie, Castorama, Lancerto or Tous, providing comprehensive services for online stores, both in terms of the supply of the necessary technical infrastructure and software.

The company cooperates with the largest hosting service providers who provide the required technical resources and ensure day-to-day administration and management of the entire environment.

 Due to the large number of customers and several centers where services are provided, the customer struggled with the problem of introducing configuration and functional changes in the environments of online stores of their entities. 

Due to the lack of a team responsible for system reconfiguration, the changes were implemented remotely by another company, after prior creation and consideration of the request in the service desk system. The procedure took a lot of time, even before the actual start of works on the infrastructure, which in turn generated many errors affecting the quality and availability of services. The described situation was critical because the client did not intend to create dedicated teams responsible for the maintenance and implementation of changes in the configuration of the hardware infrastructure on the basis of which the services were provided.

Nedaps

At the beginning of our cooperation, the client presented the current situation to us and outlined a vision of the target solution, in which the technical team would like to have a system that automates and standardizes the configurations implemented in the hardware environment. In the final solution, employees with basic technical knowledge about infrastructure are to be able to effectively use the prepared automation of standard maintenance and configuration operations, and to introduce new automation on their own. 

We very often encounter similar problems with our clients. As a solution to the presented problems, we proposed the use of WASKO’s proprietary solution – the NEDAPS system. Flexible mechanisms for defining operations, easy to build procedures and processes from previously created operations, convenient way of calling them, built-in mechanisms of cooperation with other IT systems – all this made the NEDAPS system perfectly suited to the client’s needs and expectations. 

An additional advantage in favor of WASKO was the experience and expert knowledge confirmed by the highest certificates of manufacturers in the configuration and management of devices used by the client. Thanks to this, we were able to verify the current way of carrying out tasks and propose a new, more effective approach. 

As a result of the talks, the scope of the target implementation was agreed, which included: 

  • automation of the introduction of filters on firewalls, 
  • automation of backup of network device configurations, 
  • automation of port configuration on network switches. 

The client, being a careful company, did not decide to give up control over all functionalities at once. Before implementing the agreed scope of functionalities, we proposed to conduct tests in the form of the so-called POC (Proof of Concept) in the client’s environment in order to become familiar with the NEDAPS system and verify its capabilities in the context of the client’s needs. Together, the scope of the POC was defined by implementing some of the functionality of automating the introduction of filters on firewalls. After clarifying the scope of the POC and commercial conditions, we were able to proceed with the agreed work. 

At the beginning of our cooperation, we defined dedicated project teams that were tasked with ongoing communication in order to effectively carry out the POC. It was agreed that communication between the teams would be carried out by the Mattermost communicator used by the Client, and all work would be carried out remotely.

We started our work under the POC by auditing the current process of introducing changes to firewall filters and agreeing on the expected result.

Then, in just a few days, WASKO specialists created models automating these operations in a comfortable, graphical environment of the NEDAPS system. The models created in this way were pre-tested in a separate test area of the NEDAPS system, the so-called sandbox. The sandbox allows you to accurately verify the individual steps of the automation without the risk of introducing a change in the customer’s production environment.

After positive internal verification of the prepared functionalities, they were discussed in detail and presented to the client’s specialists. Thanks to this, the client’s engineers not only practically familiarized themselves with the NEDAPS system, but also thoroughly learned how it works and how to independently create new automation. Joint verification tests were the final stage of the POC.

Their positive result allowed to start work on the implementation of full functionality. But we will write about it in the next part of the NEDAPS implementation report.