Improvements in speed and reliability
The thing about internet connection speed, is that attention is only paid to it when it’s slower than expected. So, when HOCHTIEF discovered a noticeable drop-off when transitioning from working in the office to working remotely—caused by the necessary security precautions and added miles data had to travel—they immediately sought a solution. Their service provider, ecotel, recommended a relatively new networking service co-developed by Microsoft and DE-CIX called Azure Peering Services (MAPS) that optimizes connectivity, increases reliability, and provides faster speed through reduced latency.
“There's a big difference between latency and bandwidth,” said Harald Kriener, DE-CIX’s Director of Business Development, Cloud Services. “If you have super fantastic bandwidth with a bad latency, the experience users expect just isn’t there.”
With MAPS, Kriener said, the number of hops between HOCHTIEF’s infrastructure and Microsoft’s servers shrank, as did the latency experienced by employees. Called Multi-Cloud-Connect Service by ecotel, connection time to Microsoft Teams from HOCHTIEF headquarters plummeted from 53 to 5 milliseconds.
“I call our technicians the latency hunters,” Kriener said, “because they're really trying to find every millisecond which can be optimized. … To increase data speed using Office 365 Teams, working together on documents and contracts, the best latency you can get is if you use Microsoft Azure Peering Services.”
Speed and security for the future
Since the implementation of Azure Peering Services, HOCHTIEF says employee satisfaction with their network has noticeably increased, and they’ve enjoyed a reduction in connection errors.
"Our employees on the construction sites, at our office locations, and working from home simply have to be able to do their jobs,” said Dirk Steffen, Head of Corporate IT at HOCHTIEF. "And with the Microsoft Azure Peering Service, this now works very well. We are very happy that our Microsoft implementation partner ecotel did such a great support during the planning and implementation of the dedicated direct peering connection via their Datacenter in Frankfurt/Main.
I would like to thank them for sharing their knowledge and competence to design the best solution for our needs together with the latency hunters from DE-CIX.”
In addition to reduced latency, the Microsoft Office 365 Teams connections are now isolated from the perils of the public internet, resulting in notably improved security on top of the existing Managed VPN and firewall services. Thanks to the efforts of DE-CIX, together with ecotel and Microsoft, construction teams at HOCHTIEF can collaborate on projects, negotiate contracts, and review forms almost simultaneously and free from security concerns.
At the end of the day, Kriener believes it’s the steep drop in latency that he considers the project’s greatest success.
“It makes a real difference if you need to wait every time, seconds and seconds, Kriener said. With better speed through Microsoft Azure Peering Services, “they really saw that there is a huge improvement.”