Published on 26-Oct-2011
"On the assumption that a day of downtime for one user costs each customer €500 in lost business, the enhanced availability provided by the IBM System Storage solution is saving €2.7 million a year across our customer base." - Andreas Himmelreich, Chief Executive Officer, IHK-Gfl
IT/infrastructure, Optimizing IT, Virtualization
With its headquarters in Dortmund, IHK-Gfl provides a variety of IT services to around 8,000 users in the 80 chambers of commerce and industry in Germany. The organization hosts an ERP application used by approximately three-fourths of its customers, and it also supports them through business process outsourcing and data management. One of the principal aims of IHK-Gfl is to provide users with an outstanding quality of service, enabling its customers to conduct their business with minimal IT disruption.
IHK-Gfl needed a storage system that was fast — at all times. Performance was inadequate during peak load times, which inhibited business growth, and data security was undermined by slow system backups.
IHK-Gfl implemented IBM® System Storage® DS8000® series arrays and IBM ProtecTIER® to improve data storage performance and ensure greater availability, security and scalability.
Improved storage performance ensures that applications are highly responsive even as the volume of data grows. Backups are 30 percent faster than before, and data replication is almost instantaneous.
0:02 -Andreas Himmelreich, Chief Executive Officer, IHK-GfI
This area, where the IHK-GfI is located, is basically the technology center of Dortmund. A lot of firms are here, and have made that transition from coal to steel into high tech. Our customers are the chambers of commerce and industry in Germany. We run the data center for about 8,000 users. We do some business-process outsourcing. Every IT service the chambers need, we provide. That is basically the key business of IHK-GfI. The transactions are, on a normal day, 16 million; on a peak day it goes up to 30 million.
0:39 -Thorsten De Zanet, ICT Senior Consultant, IHK-GfI
Some days of the year, if you have peak days, the customers call us and tell us: “Oh, today is too slow; we can’t work very fast. Yesterday was fast; today is slow. What’s happened?”
0:50 -Andreas Himmelreich
The problem was on the back end, definitely.
0:53 -Oliver Bretschneider, Team Leader, System Infrastructure, IHK-GfI
We must have a reliable and very fast storage system. The performance decision we made was that our ERP system database must have access times between 1 and 2 milliseconds.
1:07 -Andreas Himmelreich
And that was what we put as a measurement within that proof-of-concept. And we said to the vendors: “Hey, give us a millisecond, not 20, not 25. And we want that millisecond every time.” Well, IBM delivered.
1:22 -Oliver Bretschneider
We have a very fast storage system, with the DS8000. We have a reliable storage system. And we have a highly available storage system.
1:31 -Andreas Himmelreich
I got phone calls from our customers. They didn’t know the day where we changed it. I got phone calls, and they asked me: “Hey, Andreas, what did you do”? Well, we changed the storage. That was the key, and they were happy.
1:45 -Thorsten De Zanet
We’ve got, in our main data center, the DS8700 with Easy Tiering. Easy Tiering is a fantastic feature. It analyses the I/O data, so every block which has heavy I/O is automatically transferred to solid-state drives. And every block with lower I/Os is automatically transferred to the Fibre Channel drives. The system does this 24 hours a day, and so it automatically transfers all data to the fastest place we need.
2:17 -Andreas Himmelreich
The first thing is performance; performance, performance, performance. The second thing was IT security. ProtecTIER gives us IT security. It’s very important, we run two data centers, and the data in those two data centers need to be in synch.
2:32 -Oliver Bretschneider
ProtecTIER is a very nice backup system. The backup times are now 30 percent faster than before, and the restore times are 10 times faster than before. ProtecTIER does de-duplication and compression by a factor of 6.5.
2:52 -Thorsten De Zanet
For database servers we use System x3850 X5 because, for the future, we can expand through so many RAM like no other system. And the system is certified from Oracle from VMware from all the applications we use. This year is the first year without peak problems; every day of the year we have very good performance.
3:20 -Oliver Bretschneider
We have got a very easy to manage storage.
3:25 -Andreas Himmelreich
And the key point was we took the configuration out of the proof-of-concept, transferred it into production, and that was it. We didn’t change anything.
3:35 -Oliver Bretschneider
The day-to-day operation is very easy because I have nothing to do. The storage system is absolutely self-tuning.
3:45 -Andreas Himmelreich
Everybody says “DS800, you know, it’s a huge system; it gives you all that scalability, all that security, and all that performance, that must be hard to run.” It’s not; it’s absolutely the opposite. We do not manage the system. It sits there, and it works.
Products and services used
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011 IBM Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, New York 10589 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America October 2011 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, DS8000, Easy Tier, ProtecTIER, System Storage and System x are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates. Offerings are subject to change, extension or withdrawal without notice. All client examples cited represent how some clients have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. The information in this document is provided “as-is” without any warranty, either expressed or implied.