Major network update for Online Backup Company

Massive performance boost from new IBM System Networking solution

Published on 17-May-2013

"Implementing the IBM RackSwitch and Virtual Fabric solutions has resulted in superb performance – with some systems running ten times as fast compared with our older systems." - Are Hoel, Senior Systems Administrator, The Online Backup Company

Customer:
Online Backup Company

Industry:
Computer Services

Deployment country:
Norway

Solution:
Business Resiliency, Enabling Business Flexibility, Virtualization

IBM Business Partner:
Atea

Overview

Founded in 2005 by Alexander Hagerup and Lasse Øien, The Online Backup Company is a leading provider of online backup and disaster recovery solutions for private and public enterprises. The company sells its services via partners to small and medium businesses (SMBs), and to a range of larger companies. The Online Backup Company employs 50 people and is headquartered in Oslo, Norway. With ambitions to expand into the rest of Europe the company currently has offices and equipment at two locations in Sweden.

Business need:
With annual growth rates of 90 to 100 percent, The Online Backup Company needed a network and server platform to grow with their new software. Unable to keep up with traffic, the old platform did not deliver the performance needed.

Solution:
Six IBM® System Networking RackSwitch™ G8264 switches were installed across three locations and connected using IBM BladeCenter® Virtual Fabric.

Benefits:
Offered a ten-time performance increase. Reduced man-hours for network management tasks by 30 percent. In addition, the increased flexibility and scalability facilitate growth and are a blueprint for other sites.

Case Study

Founded in 2005 by Alexander Hagerup and Lasse Øien, The Online Backup Company is a leading provider of online backup and disaster recovery solutions for private and public enterprises. The company sells its services via partners to small and medium businesses (SMBs), and to a range of larger companies. The Online Backup Company employs 50 people and is headquartered in Oslo, Norway. With ambitions to expand into the rest of Europe the company currently has offices and equipment at two locations in Sweden.

Managing increasing traffic
The Online Backup Company has achieved 90 to 100 percent year-on-year growth since 2005 and its client list recently exceeded 4,000 for the first time. With growth comes challenges, however, and the company’s network infrastructure was struggling to cope with the increased traffic.

Are Hoel, Senior Systems Administrator at The Online Backup Company, explains: “As our client base expanded, we discovered that our network infrastructure was hitting the 1 Gbps barrier. One of our key aims is offering seamless and fast disaster recovery services to our clients, and we realized that bottlenecks could be caused by our existing switches which could hold us back from achieving this.”

Choosing IBM networking technology
With its previous network interface, all of The Online Backup Company’s incoming and outgoing traffic accessed company servers through a firewall – meaning all traffic went through every link twice. The company recognized an opportunity to accelerate the process by running its firewall on IBM System x® servers and utilizing the powerful rack-mounted G8264 switches as a core network. The IBM Virtual Fabric for IBM BladeCenter solution provided increased performance and stability.

“We selected IBM networking solutions over the competition because they offered exceptional functionality at a reasonable price point,” says Hoel. “By replacing our existing switches with IBM RackSwitch G8264 switches using IBM BladeCenter Virtual Fabric, we have minimized complexity and latency.”

Straightforward, speedy implementation
The IBM RackSwitch and Virtual Fabric solutions were supplied by IBM Premier Business Partner Atea A/S, The Online Backup Company’s vendor for this purchase. Implementation was carried out in-house.

“Atea has been one of our preferred vendors for some time now, and they delivered the equipment on time and were highly responsive to our needs,” comments Hoel. “Following a very short training course with IBM, I was able to implement the IBM switches myself with minimal effort.”

Maximizing performance
Since implementing the 10 Gbps IBM RackSwitch G8264 solution, The Online Backup Company has experienced significant improvements to system performance. RackSwitch G8264 switches provide ultra-low latency of just 880 nanoseconds and 1.28 Tbps non-blocking switching throughput, making the solution ideal for applications requiring high bandwidth and low latency.

“Implementing the IBM RackSwitch and Virtual Fabric solutions has resulted in superb performance – with some systems running ten times as fast compared with our older systems,” says Hoel. “Built-in flexibility and easy management ensures that network performance is fully optimized at all times, through features such as dynamic bandwidth allocation and load balancing. One advantage of this flexibility is that we can prioritize application traffic by day when demand is highest and route traffic to our systems by night.”

Simplifying management
The new solution has yielded benefits in terms of easier management, enabling The Online Backup Company’s systems administration team to focus on a higher-value task: boosting productivity. The network configuration can also be used as a blueprint for new sites, as it can easily be scaled up or down to fit the size of the new location. This helps position the company to capitalize quickly on future growth opportunities.

Hoel concludes: “The straightforward management and rock-solid reliability of the IBM RackSwitch and Virtual Fabric solutions mean that we do not have to spend much time managing the network infrastructure – it just works! We estimate that it has saved us in the region of 30 percent in management time, allowing us to redirect resources to more valuable work. Using this highly effective network infrastructure as a blueprint for future rollouts will enable us to set up a new site in just a couple of weeks, regardless of size – which is a key advantage in a fast-moving marketplace.”

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
BladeCenter, BladeCenter H Chassis, BladeCenter HS22V, System Networking: IBM RackSwitch G8264, System x, System x: System x3550 M3

Software:
Linux

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Corporation Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States May 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, BladeCenter, RackSwitch and System x are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at: www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. IBM and Atea are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor Atea makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.