German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence

User

Research institute with 800 employees at 6 sites located across Germany currently working on over 180 different research projects.

Requirements

  • New operating system allowing central administration of all resources
  • Takeover of all users and rights
  • Complete migration of entire 15-year e-mail archive
  • Problem-free communication among staff
  • Simple options for updating the system

Solution

  • Set-up of four virtual servers with vSphere (VMware)
  • UCS for central identity management and IT infrastructure management
  • Active Directory Connector for synchronisation of all existing directory services
  • Open-Xchange as new e-mail and groupware solution
  • Oxtender for mobile device access

The experts at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) are always in demand when it comes to matters of intelligent systems like SmartFactory, SmartService and SmartCity. The cutting edge research at the DFKI with its 800 employees working at 6 sites is now safeguarded by the use of the latest Open Source systems and thanks to the support of the IKU Systems & Services IT system house.

Infrastructure challenge

Efficient research work conducted by employees working at the different sites can only be successful if there is an IT infrastructure in place offering problem-free communication and central administration of all resources. In the DFKI’s previous infrastructure, all the systems were operated on one single server, there was no central administration and the operating system in use was no longer maintained by the developer.

Consequently, the DFKI asked IKU to update its infrastructure as quickly as possible. Following an extensive analysis and joint workshops, IKU developed a customised migration plan. The challenge was to be able to continue using all users and the rights management system and to migrate the entire e-mail archive spanning 15 years cleanly and completely.

Server virtualization, UCS and Open-Xchange at the DFKI

Existing services were distributed across four virtual servers with the help of the virtualization platform vSphere (VMware), all of which can now be centrally administrated using the new operating system Univention Corporate Server (UCS). UCS also reliably supports the existing directory services and synchronises objects such as users and groups via the integrated tool Active Directory Connector. Rights for the up to 1,100 users can now be assigned autonomously at each site.

New applications such as the new groupware solution Open-Xchange are conveniently installed from the Univention App Center. Data access via mobile devices is made possible by the Open-Xchange tool Oxtender.

Summary

The changeover to the new system was effected in next to no time and with no problems. The requirements on the IT infrastructure which had increased as a result of the growth in staff numbers are now completely satisfied. The DFKI and its staff can now communicate efficiently with each other using the intuitive OX groupware solution. All the data and resources are administrated centrally and simply via UCS. From now on, the DFKI will be able to perform updates itself and additional support is also available from the professionals at IKU, Univention and Open-Xchange.