Reference Story: Cordes & Graefe KG

Cordes & Graefe KG and ATIX AG

ATIX AG convinced us completely as a supplier and service provider. orcharhino makes our work much easier. We can create reports, freeze different versions, and finally have a solution that works with Linux deployment as well as image-based with Windows and Linux. This saves us a lot of time. What used to take an hour, we can now do in five minutes.

Rainer Schilling
IT Infrastructure
, Cordes & Graefe


Standardizing the system landscape

Cordes & Graefe has two data centers with about 1,200 virtualized systems and, in addition, about 70 bare-metal systems. In addition, the infrastructure consists of IBM power systems, which are operated with SLES, among other things.

The members of the IT Infrastructure Team are responsible for lifecycle management. They carry out their tasks according to an individual workflow. Host deployment and configuration are carried out manually; automation takes place for both Linux and Windows in the form of scripts.

A repository management exists for the SLES systems. An RMT is available for this purpose, which stores both the ppc64 and the x86 packages locally. Staged repositories are used for the SAP systems. All other systems use an autoupdate feature and obtain the packages directly from the distributor. For certain software, it is necessary to keep the minor version of the operating system at a fixed level.

Cordes & Graefe wanted to standardize the system landscape. For this, the company needed a central solution to organize all operating systems. In addition, the company wanted to standardize software maintenance and automate deployment and configuration management—ideally to be controlled from one interface. Only one tool was to be used for automation: Ansible.

The solution


When looking for a suitable solution, Rainer Schilling from the IT Infrastructure Team at Cordes & Graefe came across orcharhino. After a short proof of concept, he and his colleagues quickly decided to work with this tool.

Another requirement of Cordes & Graefe KG was the creation, packaging, and maintenance of the subscription manager for the ppc64 architecture. ATIX also provided this function in a very short time. The benefits package also quickly convinced the management and the project could start. In an infrastructure workshop that went on for several days, a consultant from ATIX presented the features of the tool so that the employees at Cordes & Graefe were able to work independently with orcharhino. The infrastructures are now automatically maintained in a homogeneous way. This saves resources and valuable time.


Image source: Cordes & Graefe KG

Image source: Cordes & Graefe KG

Key Facts

Field of activity: Holding company of the GC Group, head office and IT service provider for 150 SMUs

Headquarters: Bremen, Germany

Company data: Approx. 300 employees, locations Bremen, Stuhr, and Hennef

About the company:

Cordes & Graefe KG is the holding company of the GC Group—Germany’s market-leading wholesale company for plumbing and HVAC services. We see ourselves as more than a mere IT service provider for GC Group, but instead as an innovation and technology driver and thus number one for our customers. We are also change initiators of modern and service-oriented IT structures.

As head office and service provider, we supply IT systems to around 150 medium-sized companies and over 24,000 employees at more than 1,600 locations. With over 200 IT employees, we develop and support applications, systems, and infrastructure components.

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