Easy IT management at Germann & Achermann Architects
The starting point
Not enough time for the volume of IT tasks
Most of the employees at Germann & Achermann (G&A) are trained to a high level in architecture and construction. This is also true for the structural engineer Kathrin Bürli. In addition to her main role as a structural engineer, she is responsible for supporting the entire IT environment. Therefore, IT management must not take up too much time.
As an architecture firm, G&A primarily works with ArchiCAD, a solution tailormade for architects’ requirements. Installing updates for this software proved to be rather complicated and time-consuming. Ms Bürli would have to log-in as an administrator at each workstation, download the required installation files, install them and click through each installation step.
Munki – A fully automated management solution
In order to reduce the time investment, G&A decided on a fully automated management solution. Munki now facilitates central management and distribution of all system and application software, as well as the associated updates and user-specific configurations.
In the past, the architecture firm rarely installed updates due to the significant costs and time investment. The operating system was only updated once a year. Thanks to Munki, Bürli now only requires assistance from A&F for larger version updates.
The ICT environment at the architecture firm
A&F set up a redundant and failsafe server environment at Germann & Achermann AG using several Mac Pro. In addition to the file server, a centralised deploy and management solution for the administration of the 25 Macintosh workstations (27” iMac with 16 GB RAM and high-performance flash memory) a DELTAproject database server, an ArchiCAD BIM server for collaboration on ArchiCAD projects and a print job invoicing solution (PaperCut) are used. A fully-automatic backup concept facilitates internal synchronisation between primary and fallback server. In the event of a hardware defect, this facilitates a quick switch to the backup system, safeguarding ongoing operation. Moreover, the systems are startable and the data is backed up externally via versioning. Thanks to the A&F monitoring service, the entire server and backup environment is continually monitored, and A&F is notified if any event occurs.