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Festo Remote Workers Keep Innovating with Cisco Security in the Cloud Case Study

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Updated:November 30, 2020

Available Languages

Download Options

  • PDF
    (360.6 KB)
    View with Adobe Reader on a variety of devices
Updated:November 30, 2020
 

In just hours, Festo provided thousands of remote workers with secure access to applications and data using Cisco virtual firewalls on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure public clouds.

 

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Executive Summary

Customer Name: Festo (founded 1925)

Solutions: Automation technology, learning systems, training, and consulting

Locations: Headquarters in Esslingen, Germany with over 250 branch offices worldwide

Number of Employees: 21,000 globally

Customers: Over 300,000 industrial customers across 35 industries and over 56,000 educational customers worldwide 

Challenges

  Thousands of employees worldwide suddenly required to work remotely
  Quickly provide remote workers with access to corporate data and applications to maintain productivity
  Need a proven, scalable network security solution that can be quickly deployed globally
  On-premise hardware solutions would take many weeks to deploy worldwide due to the coordination of shipments, installation, and setup time
  Safeguard company and customer data sent across remote network

Solutions

  Cisco Secure Firewall ASA Virtual (ASAv) on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure public clouds

Results

  In just a few hours, Festo provided secure remote access to over 8,000 concurrent remote workers and over 14,000 worldwide using Cisco ASAv virtual firewalls on AWS and Azure
  Remote workers enjoyed reliable, secure VPN connectivity to corporate data and applications
  Transitioning from on-premise Cisco Secure Firewall ASA to Cisco ASAv virtual firewalls on the cloud was a fast, smooth process
  Festo gained a competitive advantage by quickly deploying Cisco ASAv on the cloud, while other companies struggled to obtain and quickly deploy on-premise hardware
  Cisco Smart Licensing provides flexibility and portability across clouds

 

100 years of continuous innovation

Festo is a family owned business and a worldwide leader in automation technology, learning systems, technical training, and consulting. Founded in 1925, Festo has enjoyed almost 100 years of continuous innovation and has gained financial independence, which enables the company to focus on the needs of its many customers, employees, and business partners. In addition, subsidiary Festo Didactic was founded over 50 years ago and has become the world market leader in industrial education.

 

Today Festo generates over €3 billion annually with over 21,000 employees and 250 branch offices worldwide. This enables the company to successfully serve over 300,000 industrial customers and more than 56,000 educational customers, spanning 35 industries and 176 countries.

 

Innovation for the best possible productivity, a global presence and close, long-term partnerships with its customers are the hallmarks of Festo.

 

Cloud first strategy

As an innovation leader in automation technology, Festo understands that speed, efficiency, and time to market are critical for continued success. In alignment with this approach, Festo’s corporate IT department implemented a “cloud first strategy” and had already started to transition away from on-premise hardware at their global offices, instead deploying applications and solutions via Platform as a service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) environments. Having successfully deployed applications on AWS and Azure public clouds for several years, they were off to a great start.

 

However, when thousands of Festo employees were suddenly required to work remotely, the IT  organization was faced with an unprecedented challenge as it sought to keep the business and global employees productive. Festo had partnered with Cisco for many years and had a positive experience with on-premise Cisco Secure Firewall ASA solutions, so they discussed available options with their Cisco account team.

 

Festo could deploy additional on-premise Cisco Secure Firewall ASA solutions, but that would require the  coordination of shipments, installation, and setup worldwide. Given the mandate to work remotely, global travel restrictions, and shipping delays, this approach could take many weeks to complete. Festo needed a solution that could be quickly deployed, so that remote employees could securely access corporate applications and data to remain productive.

 

“I’m still amazed – in just a few hours we successfully deployed secure remote access VPN to over 8,000 concurrent remote workers worldwide using Cisco ASAv virtual firewalls on AWS and Azure!”

− Philipp Neidlein – IT Product Manager Voice & Data Network, Festo

 

Productive global remote workers

Prior to the mandate that employees must work remotely, Festo successfully supported about 750 remote worker employees via on-premise Cisco ASA physical firewalls and Cisco ASAv virtual firewalls on AWS and Azure, along with Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Clients. However, the Festo IT department had concerns about their ability to immediately support thousands of remote worker employees worldwide.

 

Working with the Cisco team, Festo decided to extend their use of Cisco ASAv virtual firewall solutions globally across AWS and Azure public clouds. The solutions had worked very well to-date and the approach was aligned with the IT department’s cloud first strategy. Within just a few hours, Festo successfully deployed Cisco ASAv virtual firewall solutions worldwide, supporting about 8,000 concurrent remote workers and over 14,000 remote workers daily. Remote employees worldwide obtained secure, reliable access to corporate applications and data, which enabled them to continue developing innovative automation solutions and provide support to their global customers. The solution also easily scaled to support additional remote workers if needed.

 

Festo leveraged cloud deployment tools that made the entire process fast, consistent, and repeatable, while greatly reducing the risk of human error. This cloud first approach also provided Festo with a competitive advantage over firms that relied solely on on-premise physical solutions, since coordinating shipments, installation, and setup would likely take many weeks.

 

Winning with Cisco Security

By moving key applications and services to the public cloud, Festo enjoys greater speed and flexibility to meet the dynamic needs of their many employees, customers, and business partners worldwide.

 

This approach has also enabled Festo to reduce their onpremise hardware, software, and infrastructure costs. Cisco’s global presence and portfolio of industry leading, integrated security solutions has helped Festo implement its cloud first strategy to meet existing and future needs.

 

“Speed is the currency of the digital economy and partnering with Cisco Security made our deployment to AWS and Azure fast and easy.”

− Philipp Neidlein – IT Product Manager Voice & Data Network, Festo

 

Learn more about solutions from Cisco and Festo

    Cisco Secure firewall solutions

    Cisco Secure virtual firewalls for public cloud

    Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client

    Cisco Smart Licensing

    Festo

    Festo on YouTube

 

 

 

Learn more