Untersteller at test tower site
The 246 metre test tower being built at Rottweil, Germany by ThyssenKrupp in to put its latest elevators through their paces is a first in the world, outstanding for its energy management. Its site at Rottweil welcomed a high-ranking visitor on Wednesday afternoon when Franz Untersteller, Baden-Württemberg's Minister of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector was given a personal update on the progress of construction work. Particular attention was focused on the resource-friendly, energy-efficient design and operation of the test tower. Architects Helmut Jahn and Werner Sobek looked to optimize energy aspects of the research facility for elevator innovations as early as the planning stage: The focus was on lightweight design so as to minimize energy use during the manufacture and transportation of the materials. Once in operation, efficient components such as LED lighting, ventilation systems with heat recovery, and energy recovery systems in the elevators will give the tower an exemplary energy footprint.
"ThyssenKrupp is setting a good example in Rottweil: Not only does the decision to locate in the region send a signal to other companies, I also hope that the test tower project will encourage environment-friendly and responsible business practices in general in Baden-Württemberg," said Minister Untersteller. "ThyssenKrupp is showing that energy efficiency and resource conservation are not a luxury, but rather the prerequisite for long-term successful operations."
The creation of more than 30 permanent jobs at the site was another topic of interest: "We are pleased to say that we will also be more than making good on this promise. 25 jobs in research and development alone will be based here in Rottweil. These are positions for highly qualified engineers who will have ideal conditions in the test tower to develop the elevator innovations of the future," said Alexander Keller. "Here in Rottweil we will be researching into solutions for the future challenges of urbanization."
"With the test tower, our city is developing into a leading research and development location for the elevator technologies of the future. By providing additional jobs for engineers, ThyssenKrupp is significantly expanding its commitment to Rottweil", said Werner Guhl, Mayor of Rottweil. "That strengthens our position on the Stuttgart-Zurich innovation axis. In this way, cutting edge technology 'made in Rottweil' will be exported all over the world!"
The structure will reach its final height of 246 metres in summer 2015. Completion is scheduled for late 2016. The tower will then be able to boast more record-breaking statistics. In all, the test tower will contain around 15,000 cubic meters of concrete, equivalent to the contents of 15 million milk cartons. It will weigh more than 40,000 tons. The steel content alone will weigh more than 2,500 tons: ThyssenKrupp's recently upgraded blast furnace in Duisburg would need around a day to produce this amount.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”