SEEBURGER BIS Review

The file transfer adapters allow us to reduce costs but the system architecture is complex


What is our primary use case?

We use it mostly for data integration. We use a module from SEEBURGER called Managed File Transfer or MFT. We move about 30,000 to 50,000 files in a week in our company. The files are moved intracompany but they also move between our company and our external partners. We also have a bunch of stuff on Amazon. We use SEEBURGER Business Integration Suite (BIS) to integrate our data center with Amazon file transfers.

How has it helped my organization?

Before this product, we used to use a solution that required us to write code and then go through the process. It would take five to seven days for our development team to do the code, test it, and then promote it. The SEEBURGER Business Integration Suite (BIS) MFT solution is really configuration-driven. It comes with a number of adapters for file transfers. Some of these processes, which used to take five to seven days and cost an average of $5,000 per integration, can now be done in a couple of hours because of the configuration. And they cost less than $1,000 dollars overall. We are able to do faster delivery and it's much more robust, handling large files really well. And it does bring cost savings.

It is also flexible when it comes to adding integrations. We have created some frameworks and we are able to utilize those frameworks very quickly. The solution is really handy in those terms. For example, when we bought the product, we had a requirement for transferring data to Amazon S3 buckets but we did not have a solution in our shop for large data transfers to Amazon S3. We worked with SEEBURGER and created a framework solution and now, using that solution, we can configure the transfer in an hour or two and enable it to go to existing or new S3 buckets. It's a tremendously powerful solution and it gives us a lot of leverage to get things done quickly.

What is most valuable?

It's a very robust solution and it's very configurable. Before this product we would use an ESB-type of solution which required us to write code and go through a process. We can configure the SEEBURGER solution much more easily, instead of writing code. It does its job very well, to the extent that we do not see failures in the system. It can handle large files very well, which is one of our bigger concerns. We transfer some bank files up to ten gigs in size and it handles them really well.

Larger loads can be handled either by Active-Active or Active-Passive. The Active-Active definitely provides high up-times so if one of our nodes goes down, the other nodes still continue to work and we are not totally down. It meets our requirements for "five nines".

What needs improvement?

There's always room for improvement. One of them is that the product is not integrated very well with different cloud providers. We did work with the vendor to build a solution for Amazon, but there is no solution for other cloud providers like Google or Azure. The vendor needs to create adapters so that if we have a requirement to transfer data from our data center to another cloud, outside of Amazon, we would be able to do that. 

Another issue is that support for the vendor's operating system is not available. There used to be support for the older operating system over SMB, but they have discontinued the support. They need to come up with a solution to support the new Windows operating system.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a very stable solution. We do not see much of a problem with it. We may have to re-start the solution once a year at the most, but that's part of our regular maintenance cycle. The solution is very robust and stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't think the scalability of the solution is that great because they have tied the solution to their named nodes and it does not allow scalability like some of the cloud products.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have the Premium Support and we pay extra for that, and it gives us access to their engineers. It also requires the vendor to respond within three hours, if we create a Severity 1 ticket. But we have not had many problems.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We switched mostly because of efficiency and cost reasons. Our previous solution required a lot more development and SEEBURGER Business Integration Suite (BIS) is a much more configuration-driven solution.

How was the initial setup?

It is a complicated solution, it was not a straightforward setup. We leveraged their Professional Services to help us understand and architect the solutions. I do see a lot of room for improvement there, because the solution and the documentation are not very intuitive. There's a lot that could be done there. It's not like you're installing one product, it's a number of products that you have to install and configure. And there are always chances of failure. There's a lot of room for improvement.

From when we bought the product to when we took the first product live, it took us about four months. But after the infrastructure was set up it was much easier.

What about the implementation team?

A lot of the third-party service providers did not have knowledge of this product. We use Accenture as our core SME but they did not have knowledge of, or skillsets in, this product. We had to work with the vendor, hire their Professional Services to do the architecture, do the installation, and to train our engineers on the solution. There was a lot of learning curve there and we spent a lot of time and money with SEEBURGER Professional Services to get to that point.

What was our ROI?

We have seen return of investment in terms of how quickly we can deliver.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It has a very goofy pricing model in the sense that they have so many components and it's not very clear what components you require to do your work. When you ask for that, you learn that there's a surcharge for them. It's not that you buy a product and you can use all the compatibilities. They have all these different bits and pieces of it and you have to pay extra for all those things.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did a big PoC. We narrowed it down to three or four vendors and we invited all of them to come on site and demonstrate their products. We gave them a use-case scenario to implement and, based on that, we made our selection.

What other advice do I have?

The only advice I would give is to see that the industry is moving towards the cloud and this solution is an on-prem solution. The vendor does not have a cloud offering, at least not that we're aware of. So evaluate a solution based on your needs.

Right now, we are deployed on-premise and we are migrating it into the cloud.

The product is being used quite a bit and it's meeting all of our needs for file transfers at this point. We are not expecting to increase usage at this point in time. We are looking to the vendor for the cloud migration and, as part of that, we may have to add more cores. The cloud architecture is different than our on-prem architecture so we may have to make architectural adjustments to allow "five nines," and that might force us to buy some additional licensing.

We do not use Landscape Manager, we only use the base solution, the Business Integration Suite. We mostly focus on the Manage File Transfer part.

We do not have any business users using the solution, it is an IT solution. We do have support teams that are the users of the solution and they're supporting and monitoring the processes. We also have a number of software engineers who are configuring processes to take the files and move the files. There are about ten people who provide support for these things, so they have access to it, along with our system administrators and engineers.

Our system administrator is responsible for running the system, upkeep, and making sure that the servers are patched and everything is working. We have a couple of engineers or developers who are using it. Right now, we are turning around about five to eight projects in a month. The developers work on some of these configurations and provide testing. It's a very small staff.

I give the solution a seven out of ten because it's a very robust product and it works well, but architecture-wise it's complicated.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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