Scavolini Realizes the Value of Architectural Simplicity Across Data Centers

Growth in the new era of digital business is built on three pillars: providing the best customer experience, supporting continuous innovation and building scalable and reliable operations. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are working toward this digital transformation to increase the value they provide to their customers and shareholders.

Scavolini, Italy’s top kitchen brand, has grown from a small workshop in central Italy to a major international manufacturer of kitchens with business in more than 50 countries. For more than 30 years, Scavolini has delivered innovative designs that inspire customers and transform homes.

As Scavolini grew its retail business with international operations and manufacturing facilities, the IT team, although small, was looking ahead at the company’s growth needs from both geographic and data perspectives. They realized that it was time to modernize the data center and campus core from a 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) network to a leaf-and-spine network running at 25 GbE and 100 GbE that is fully automated and virtualized via SDN, while offering full visibility into application traffic traversing the Scavolini network.

“Scavolini needed greater bandwidth and speeds in our data center network, but what we didn’t need was additional complexity for our IT team. Pluribus gives us a high degree of automation and programmability across our multi-site data centers, simplifying processes and network management while scaling our networking team. Thanks to the capabilities delivered by Pluribus, we can do far more today for the business, from employee mobility (VDI) to IT cost containment and network virtualization – all with the same team and budget.” – Edoardo Gentili, Information Systems Manager at Scavolini

Working through their set of core guiding principles around simplicity, reliability, cost and scale, the team quickly eliminated vertically integrated solutions from large networking vendors as potential options. Instead, they started evaluating open networking solutions, and after evaluating multiple open networking options, Scavolini chose Dell EMC Open Networking (ON) switches running Pluribus Networks’ Netvisor® ONE operating system with the Adaptive Cloud Fabric™, along with Pluribus UNUM™ Fabric Manager and Insight Analytics for automation and visibility. It was clear to the team that this combination would provide a fully automated solution that would deliver the simplicity their small IT team needed at the lowest cost, balanced with wire-speed performance, scale and reliability.

Modern campus and data center fabric in a brownfield environment

What did the Scavolini team accomplish?

  1. Simple and Elegant Data Center and Campus Design 
    Simplicity was one of the guiding principles for Scavolini, in network design as well as ongoing network operations. Scavolini implemented a leaf-and-spine topology to support east-west traffic on its data center servers, with spine switches that serve as the core of Scavolini’s campus network.  All the switches in the leaf-and-spine network were deployed with Pluribus’ Adaptive Cloud Fabric, which offers two levels of automation to achieve this simplicity. First is a controllerless SDN fabric where the physical leaf-and-spine “underlay” is completely automated, without the cost or complexity of multiple SDN controllers at every site. Second, the physical network is abstracted, virtualized and segmented to provide a simple, programmable “overlay,” again without having to deploy the controllers required by other network virtualization solutions.
  2. Better Insights 
    Pluribus’ granular telemetry tracks every TCP flow through the fabric and delivers these flows to the UNUM Insight Analytics application. Insight Analytics provides visibility into and reporting on all application traffic traversing the Scavolini network. This provides Scavolini’s IT team with better insight into how the network architecture supports applications and users and allows them to troubleshoot problems fabric-wide simply, quickly and efficiently.
  3. Agile Operations 
    Using Pluribus UNUM Fabric Manager as a visual front end for the Pluribus Adaptive Cloud Fabric, Scavolini’s two-person networking team can see every switch across the entire fabric, troubleshoot the entire fabric and/or update policy across the fabric with simple point-and-click commands. Additional operational enhancements come through integration with VMware vCenter, in which the virtual network is automatically created or adjusted as ESXi VMs are deployed or moved.

“We now have something that is vendor-agnostic and open. It can be managed centrally, from a single point, and it allows us to manage traffic based an application flow. This gives us great visibility into how application traffic traverses the network, and that gives us insight into how the network architecture supports applications and users.” – Edoardo Gentili, Information Systems Manager at Scavolini

Scavolini accomplished their goals by leveraging the disruptive economics of open networking solutions from Dell EMC together with the powerful operational benefits derived from Pluribus Networks’ controllerless software-defined networking solutions.

IT teams in all segments and geographies are finding that IT infrastructure modernization must occur if digital transformations are to be successful. Gone are the days of building box-by-box, expensive and inflexible solutions and SDN implementations that require additional expensive hardware and software for external controllers – you have to focus on architectural simplicity. As data centers become more distributed, legacy approaches will increase complexity and cost – you have to think about infrastructure attributes that are built around simple, agile, reliable and scalable architectures.

Ready to start your own journey to architectural simplicity? Contact us for a demo or a technical briefing – we are here to help.

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About the Author

Jayesh Chokshi

Jay has over 15+ years of engineering, technical marketing and product management experience in the networking industry. Prior to joining Pluribus, Jay served as the Director of Product Management for several of Cisco’s Enterprise networking product lines, including the launch of the market leading and latest generation of ISRs - ISR4000 series and the virtualization platform ENCS5000 Series. His specialties include Enterprise and Managed Service Provider Networking solutions including SD-WAN, NFV, Data Center switching and Converged Infrastructure solutions. Jay is responsible for driving the Pluribus product/solutions portfolio and technical marketing and partner activities.