Published on 30-Aug-2013
"IBM and SAP support us in our ambitious business strategy, and we are confident that together we can further streamline our processes and expand our leading position in the market." - Ulrich Müller, Head of IT and Organization, EURONICS
EURONICS Deutschland eG
Business Continuity, Business Resiliency, Enterprise Resource Planning, High Availability , Information Management Foundation, Storage Consolidation, Virtualization, Virtualization - Server, Virtualization - Storage
EURONICS International is Europe’s largest buying group for consumer electronics. The product range includes everything from high-definition TVs and DVD recorders to digital cameras and personal computers, and from domestic appliances to telecommunications and navigation devices. EURONICS Deutschland eG, a member of the EURONICS International cooperative partnership, provides membership services in Germany, and employs around 300 people at its Ditzingen headquarters. Some 1,700 members operate 1,900 outlets and employ more than 12,000 people, generating sales of €3.8 billion in 2011.
The highly successful growth strategy at European retail company EURONICS was leading to increased data volumes, which in turn affected its SAP application performance and storage complexity.
To remove these potentially costly barriers to growth, EURONICS chose to implement virtualized solutions based on IBM XIV Storage Systems and IBM SAN Volume Controller. The new systems support SAP solutions running on IBM Power 770 servers with the IBM AIX operating system, and other business-critical applications on multiple platforms and operating systems. To ensure business resiliency in events of disaster, EURONICS has implemented a comprehensive backup system powered by IBM Power 740 servers, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager software and an IBM System Storage TS3500 Tape Library.
Resilient, scalable solutions able to support business growth, based on a simplified, easy-to-use, fully virtualized IT system landscape. Accelerated backup times by 10 percent and increased throughput during space reclamation processes by more than 50 percent. Reduced manual tape management by 75 percent from 2 hours per week to only 30 minutes. Cut storage requirements with up to 80 percent data compression for SAP ERP databases. Improved availability avoids costs of €50,000 per hour downtime. Enabled more efficient scheduling of licensing costs for backup solution.
About this paper
The highly successful growth strategy at European retail company EURONICS was leading to increased data volumes, which in turn affected its SAP application performance and storage complexity. To remove these potentially costly barriers to growth, EURONICS chose to implement virtualized solutions based on IBM® XIV® Storage Systems and IBM SAN Volume Controller. The new systems support SAP solutions running on IBM Power® 770 servers with the IBM AIX® operating system, and other business-critical applications on multiple platforms and operating systems. To ensure business resiliency in events of disaster, EURONICS has implemented a comprehensive backup system powered by IBM Power 740 servers, IBM Tivoli® Storage Manager software and an IBM System Storage® TS3500 Tape Library. IBM Business Partner FRITZ & MACZIOL assisted with solution strategy, design, sizing and implementation.
- Create resilient, scalable systems able to support business growth even while cutting total costs of operation
- Cut administrative costs by simplifying systems management and reducing technical complexity
- Improve business resilience by introducing high-availability solutions for both the SAP- and non-SAP environment
- Reduce data storage and management costs by consolidating and sharing storage capacity across all architectures and applications
- Optimize reliability and availability by introducing seamless data-mirroring and automated failover solutions
- Enable continuous business operations by introducing zero-disruption maintenance techniques that allow work to be completed during standard business hours without system downtime
- Improve business resiliency by deploying centralized backup procedures for business-critical SAP- and non-SAP systems
- IBM SAN Volume Controller stretched cluster in a SAN fabric based on IBM System Storage SAN48B with four IBM SAN Volume Controller nodes and two IBM XIV storage systems providing 160 TB storage capacity
- SAP ERP applications deployed on IBM Power 770 servers with IBM POWER7® processors running the IBM AIX operating system, IBM PowerVM® Enterprise virtualization providing more than 20 logical partitions, IBM PowerHA® for AIX high availability solution and IBM DB2® databases
- SAP for Retail solutions including SAP ERP applications supporting financial, controlling, sales and distribution, material management and warehouse management processes, SAP Process Integration, SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse, SAP Solution Manager, deployed on IBM Power servers with IBM POWER7 processors running the IBM AIX operating system, and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager backup software deployed on IBM Power 740 servers
- IBM System Storage TS3500 Tape Library
- IBM System x® servers with VMware virtualization hosting a broad range of Linux and Microsoft Windows servers
- Planning, implementation, migration, and project management services from IBM Business Partner FRITZ & MACZIOL
- Resilient, scalable solutions able to support business growth, based on a simplified, easy-to-use, fully virtualized IT system landscape
- Set limits to operational and administrative costs, with automated data storage management and better utilization of total storage capacity
- Enabled system maintenance during standard business hours, eliminating the need for planned downtime and avoiding business interruption
- Accelerated backup times by 10 percent and increased throughput during space reclamation processes by more than 50 percent from 330 GB per hour to 500 GB per hour
- Reduced manual tape management by 75 percent from 2 hours per week to only 30 minutes
- Cut storage requirements with up to 80 percent data compression for SAP ERP databases
- Improved availability avoids costs of €50,000 per hour downtime
- Enabled more efficient scheduling of licensing costs for backup solution with new licensing agreement based on capacity
Background, starting point and objectives
EURONICS International is Europe’s largest buying group for consumer electronics. The product range includes everything from high-definition TVs and DVD recorders to digital cameras and personal computers, and from domestic appliances to telecommunications and navigation devices. EURONICS comprises 6,000 independent businesses worldwide, operating more than 11,000 stores in 31 countries. Employing more than 50,000 people, EURONICS International achieved annual sales of €16.2 billion in 2011.
EURONICS Deutschland eG, a member of the EURONICS International cooperative partnership, provides membership services in Germany, and employs around 300 people at its Ditzingen headquarters. Some 1,700 members operate 1,900 outlets and employ more than 12,000 people, generating sales of €3.8 billion in 2011.
Initial IT environment
EURONICS Deutschland runs a comprehensive range of SAP solutions on IBM Power Systems servers, supporting the entire value chain, including finance, sales, distribution, materials management, warehouse management and business analytics. The SAP software environment includes SAP for Retail solutions, SAP ERP applications, SAP Process Integration and SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse applications.
In 2008, the company upgraded its server systems from IBM POWER5 to IBM POWER6 technology to improve SAP application performance. At the same time, EURONICS decided to implement storage virtualization with IBM SAN Volume Controller to meet the continuously increasing availability and flexibility requirements of its SAP landscape.
The Power Systems servers, featuring IBM POWER6 processors, ran the IBM AIX operating system, combined with IBM PowerVM Enterprise virtualization technology and IBM PowerHA for AIX high-availability clusters, as well as IBM SAN Volume Controller stretched cluster. Data storage was provided by two IBM XIV System Storage Generation 2 devices and from other vendors, in both NAS and SAN configurations.
Business challenges and project objectives
As business data volumes grew, so did the number and type of data storage devices. In 2008, EURONICS Deutschland noticed difficulties with connecting different vendors’ storage systems to a single server. It was complex and costly to install, configure and maintain multiple systems for each server, and total storage capacity across all the different storage servers was not being fully exploited.
Data storage complexity also increased the backup complexity, and the EURONICS Deutschland team struggled to ensure that backups were comprehensive and completed successfully. Growing data volumes required larger numbers of backup tapes, which were transported and stored at an off-site location. Gradually it became clear that the increase in backup set size and the rise in the number of tapes would lengthen the time taken to restore data to unacceptable levels.
When the existing service contracts ended in 2012, the company team took the opportunity to review the SAP landscape architecture and evaluated whether another technology would provide better value for money. Specifically, the EURONICS team looked at how to simplify an increasingly complex environment, with a view to cutting costs yet improving storage capacity and performance.
Working with IBM Business Partner FRITZ & MACZIOL, the EURONICS Deutschland IT team developed a system architecture that would meet the company’s business objectives. Wherever possible, the future landscape redeployed or upgraded existing assets, removed complexity and introduced automation to help cut costs and eliminate manual error.
EURONICS Deutschland built on its positive experience of server and storage virtualization to extend the existing IBM solution, standardize data management and simplify the IT landscape. To do so, EURONICS Deutschland upgraded to IBM Power 770 servers, deployed the latest version of IBM DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows, and upgraded its IBM SAN Volume Controller and IBM XIV Storage System.
The new environment provides high availability of systems and services for business applications running on IBM AIX, Linux and Microsoft® Windows® operating systems. Using storage virtualization, EURONICS Deutschland has simplified administration, removed storage performance bottlenecks and introduced thin storage provisioning technology to help reduce its data storage costs.
To meet the needs of the growing membership with fast response to enquiries and with efficient central services, EURONICS Deutschland relies on its extensive range of SAP solutions, running on IBM Power Systems servers. The team took the opportunity to review the forecast workload, and chose to upgrade to two IBM Power 770 servers, featuring IBM POWER7 processors running the IBM AIX operating system. The new POWER7 processors are up to 40 percent more energy-efficient than the previous generation of processors, helping EURONICS Deutschland to reduce electricity costs and environmental impact.
In 2008, EURONICS Deutschland deployed IBM PowerVM Enterprise virtualization to provide more than 20 logical partitions (LPARs) for its business-critical SAP ERP applications and related services such as the VIOS.
The POWER7 processors support the IBM PowerVM Live Partition Mobility feature, which enables applications to be moved from one physical server to another without disrupting the services for the users, no downtime and no effect on application performance. EURONICS Deutschland uses the PowerVM Live Partition Mobility feature to ensure that even during system maintenance it continues to provide uninterrupted service to its members, an essential ability for an organization of this scale.
To use its server resources more efficiently and operate its system more reliably, EURONICS Deutschland runs solutions in independent LPARs on one physical server. Because creating an LPAR involves the same basic process each time, it was cost-inefficient to assign the task to an experienced system administrator, yet it could not be delegated to a non-technical person who might make a mistake.
To increase productivity, EURONICS Deutschland deployed Dynamic Power Cloud Manager software from FRITZ & MACZIOL, which largely automates the LPAR creation process through an easy-to-use web interface. With Dynamic Power Cloud Management, EURONICS Deutschland can now create new LPARs more quickly and minimize manual configuration errors, and so reduce the workload for system administrators.
During the project, EURONICS Deutschland reviewed its disaster recovery strategy, starting with the possible failure of its two data centers. To ensure continuous operations, each SAP ERP production system is set up as a cluster of two systems with IBM PowerHA SystemMirror for AIX software to ensure high availability and automated failover. Through the user-friendly graphical user interface, the IT team can set up and manage clusters easily and provide near-continuous SAP ERP application services to EURONICS Deutschland’s member companies. IBM PowerHA improves resiliency and increases system availability while it keeps system management simple.
Hans Eipperle, System Administrator at EURONICS Deutschland explains, “We selected IBM Power Systems servers with the IBM AIX operating system, because these systems simply run very reliably. In about three years, we had no unplanned outage of our Power Systems servers. That level of availability is what we need for our most important business applications, and this is difficult to match on other architectures.”
Selecting the database partner for SAP applications
EURONICS Deutschland relies on IBM DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows. IBM DB2 exploits specific features of the POWER7 processors that help to increase database performance through in-memory data management, as well as database row and index compression technologies. The result is that larger databases can be managed and database performance can be increased without the need for additional compute resources.
To take advantage of these benefits, EURONICS Deutschland chose to update its database and is now running IBM DB2 version 9.7.
Hans Eipperle, “We were already using the IBM DB2 Storage Optimization feature, exploiting the transparent data compression of IBM DB2. With the new IBM DB2 version, we also activated the index compression functionality. Because more index data can be held in memory at any time, we expect better hit rates and ultimately improved database performance for our SAP ERP applications.”
The company uses the automation features provided by IBM DB2, such as Self-Tuning Memory Management, to ensure optimized performance. To achieve further performance improvements, EURONICS Deutschland uses the integrated SAP NetWeaver DBA Cockpit for DB2 to provide advanced index analysis and tuning.
Comprehensive, integrated platform for SAP and other business solutions
Taking advantage of established best practices in the industry, EURONICS Deutschland deployed the SAP for Retail solution portfolio, and uses SAP ERP software for financial accounting, controlling, sales and distribution, materials management and warehouse management. To ensure interoperability with other third-party systems, EURONICS Deutschland implemented the SAP Process Integration application.
To provide advanced business analytics and reporting features to managers and analysts, EURONICS Deutschland uses SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse to consolidate and report on key data. For simplified and optimized management of its SAP solution landscapes, EURONICS Deutschland also operates the SAP Solution Manager software.
For efficient collaboration and communication, EURONICS Deutschland relies on the IBM Domino messaging and application platform, also running on the IBM Power 770 servers with the IBM AIX operating system. EURONICS Deutschland operates more than 200 non-SAP systems on IBM System x servers with VMware virtualization on Linux and Microsoft Windows operating systems. The servers include Microsoft Active Directory, file and print servers, customer relationship management systems, a collaboration platform (wiki), IT service management software, human resource management systems, e-commerce servers, online shops, portals and other systems for EURONICS retailers.
In 2008, EURONICS Deutschland was the first company in Germany to implement IBM XIV for its mission-critical production systems. Excellent support from both IBM and FRITZ & MACZIOL, combined with comprehensive testing of the technology, gave the in-house team the confidence to go ahead with the implementation.
Ulrich Müller, Head of IT and Organization at EURONICS Deutschland, remembers, “To meet the high availability requirements and enable maintenance without any interruptions, we selected IBM SAN Volume Controller software in combination with IBM XIV storage systems. We wanted a storage solution that allowed for thin provisioning, provided automatic load-balancing and was easy to use. In IBM SAN Volume Controller and IBM XIV, we found a solution that satisfied all our requirements.”
To meet these needs, EURONICS Deutschland implemented a standardized storage solution based on a single data-mirroring technology with seamless failover capability for all computing architectures and operating systems. IBM Business Partner FRITZ & MACZIOL and IBM deployed IBM SAN Volume Controller software in a stretched cluster configuration with four IBM SAN Volume Controller Storage Engine nodes. To ensure high availability, the server and storage systems are distributed across two data centers. Two IBM SAN Volume Controller nodes are implemented at each data center location and data is synchronously mirrored from one data center to the other. An IBM SAN Volume Controller stretched cluster appears as one system in the management console, simplifying management and configuration.
The IBM SAN Volume Manager Storage Engine nodes, the IBM XIV Storage System and the servers are connected via two redundant Fibre Channel SAN fabrics based on four IBM System Storage SAN48B SAN switches, each with 48 ports and connection speeds of up to 16 Gpbs and four IBM System Storage SAN40B switches, each with 40 ports and connection speeds of up to 8 Gbps.
In order to provide reliable data mirroring of mission-critical information, EURONICS Deutschland is using the Virtual Disk (VDisk) Mirroring feature. Each VDisk has two physical copies, and for improved flexibility each copy can belong to a different managed disk (MDisk) group. When a server writes data to a mirrored VDisk, the IBM SAN Volume Controller stretched cluster writes the data to both copies. When a server reads data from a mirrored VDisk, the IBM SAN Volume Controller stretched cluster picks one of the copies to read, automatically balancing the load and optimizing the storage performance.
If one of the mirrored VDisk copies is unavailable, the VDisk can still be accessed by the servers. The IBM SAN Volume Controller stretched cluster seamlessly resynchronizes the two copies when both become available again.
Expanding its existing storage solution, EURONICS Deutschland connected two IBM XIV Storage Systems with 15 modules each and 161 TB total usable storage capacity to its IBM SAN Volume Controller stretched cluster. The company deployed the latest IBM XIV generation and installed 15 modules with 2 TB hard disks in both systems. Ulrich Müller explains, “When we first moved to IBM XIV, the grid architecture convinced us. We looked at different solutions from different vendors, and the IBM XIV concept provided the best availability and built-in redundancy.”
EURONICS Deutschland uses the new storage solution for all its systems. The company’s SAP ERP applications running on IBM Power Systems servers with the IBM AIX operating system rely on the IBM storage as well as the VMware environment with a number of Microsoft Windows and Linux servers running on IBM System x servers. The company configured two storage pools, one for the SAP ERP software and one for all other servers. For improved business continuity, EURONICS Deutschland distributed the IBM DB2 storage containers across four file systems, the configuration recommended by IBM and SAP for SAP ERP applications.
IBM XIV Storage System
The IBM XIV Storage System is a high-end disk-based grid architecture with integrated virtualization technology. IBM XIV is a flat network of standard components, enabling massively paralleled, non-blocking data access. The IBM XIV architecture delivers outstanding performance, scalability, availability and reliability, at exceptionally low total cost of ownership.
The IBM XIV Storage System uses a massively parallelized architecture and advanced caching algorithms to balance workload equally across a grid of Very High Density Slower Rotation (VHDSR) disks – eliminating hotspots and achieving elevated performance levels. Management-free SSD caching ensures that the most important data is delivered even faster, eliminating disk latency that may occur with HDD storage and substantially improving the overall storage performance.
The tierless and modular approach is designed for cloud environments with heterogeneous workloads. The unique system architecture enables simplified storage management and provides consistent performance at all times with built-in high availability. All data is mirrored across at least two disks on separate modules, providing complete reliability and rapid rebuilds should an individual disk fail.
A single IBM XIV chassis can hold up to 15 modules and provide a usable capacity of more than 300 TB. It can connect to a storage area network through 24 Fibre Channel ports with a connection speed of 8 Gpbs each. In addition, IBM XIV supports iSCSI at 1 Gbps over 22 network connections or 10 Gbps over 12 connections.
IBM SAN Volume Controller
The IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller (SVC) is a storage virtualization solution that provides a single point of control for storage resources, helping to support improved availability of business applications and greater resource utilization. The objective is to manage storage resources more efficiently to deliver the maximum advantage to the business. The easy to use management interface allows quick provisioning of storage volumes in real time, while reducing administrative costs.
IBM SAN Volume Controller is designed to combine storage capacity from multiple disk systems into a single logical location to allow more efficient capacity usage and more flexible management. Servers attached to IBM SAN Volume Controller only need one storage device driver to connect to any storage system. It aims to improve application availability by practically eliminating storage-related causes of application downtime. For example, the Virtual Disk (VDisk) Mirroring function improves application availability in the event of failure, and eliminates downtime caused by maintenance to an array or disk system.
The storage virtualization software also offers additional productivity features. IBM SAN Volume Controller ships with IBM Real-time Compression, a technology that allows companies to store more data on existing disk systems, increasing the effective capacity of storage systems.
IBM SAN Volume Controller software is provided pre-installed on SAN Volume Controller Storage Engine, computing appliances that are based on proven IBM system x server technology. IBM SAN Volume Controller Storage Engines are always deployed in redundant pairs, which are designed to deliver very high availability. To increase availability and data protection, IBM SAN Volume Controller software can be operated in stretched configurations, enabling companies to mirror data across locations and data centers, providing additional flexibility and increasing business continuity.
Far reaching compatibility with virtualization environments and support of advanced storage features such as VMware vStorage API and VMware vMotion pave the way for fully virtualized environments and make IBM SAN Volume Controller software an optimized solution to complement server virtualization.
Plugins support the integration of IBM SAN Volume Controller into management solutions enabling companies to streamline system administration and simplify storage management. Using plugins, IBM SAN Volume Controller can for example be integrated with Microsoft System Center Operations Manager or VMware vCenter.
Business continuity strategy and data protection
Over time, configuration changes and the installation of fixes to operating systems, SAP ERP applications and additional changes to other components can affect the reliability of any cluster configuration. As EURONICS Deutschland wants to take best advantage of its high availability solution, the company decided to test the cluster configuration on a frequent and regular basis. Such testing is designed to ensure that the seamless cluster failover will work in case of a real-world disaster.
Hans Eipperle explains, “Every six weeks, we perform a so called ‘role change’, switching all applications between the primary and secondary IBM Power 770 servers using the IBM PowerHA cluster management software. This best practice has been part of our server management processes for several years. The regular ‘role change’ not only tests the server clustering, but also the operation of the IBM SAN Volume Controller stretched cluster with the VDisk Mirroring. We are very happy with this approach, and successful testing of our recovery processes has given us great confidence that our IBM solution is really reliable.”
EURONICS Deutschland further protects its IT infrastructure with a comprehensive backup and recovery solution. The company deployed two IBM Power 740 servers with IBM POWER7 processors running the IBM AIX operating system to support IBM Tivoli Storage Manager backup software. EURONICS Deutschland has chosen a volume-based backup licensing model, which allows the company to add backup processing capacity at no additional cost.
By changing from processor-based licensing to volume-based licensing, EURONICS Deutschland significantly reduced its backup software licensing costs. EURONICS Deutschland has also deployed IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Enterprise Resource Planning to ensure reliable and efficient SAP ERP application backups, and to protect its communications data in the IBM Domino solutions, the company installed IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Mail.
To optimize backup processes for its Microsoft SQL Server databases, EURONICS Deutschland implemented IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Databases. This solution allows online, consistent and centralized backups to help avoid downtime, protect vital enterprise data and minimize operational costs.
To streamline the backup and recovery concept for its VMware vSphere virtual machines, EURONICS Deutschland introduced IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments. This solution supports the VMware vStorage APIs for Data Protection technology and simplifies and optimizes data protection in virtualized server environments.
Ulrich Müller says, “All our backups, about 4 TB per day, are managed by IBM Tivoli Storage Manager. We established a flexible backup environment where backups of smaller systems are stored on disks, while large systems, for example SAP ERP databases are directly backed up to tape. With this backup solution, we could tailor the backup processes to our needs we have established simple and standardized procedures.”
EURONICS Deutschland replaced its existing IBM System Storage TS3300 Tape Library which used LTO3 and LTO4 drives. The company’s newly implemented IBM System Storage TS3500 Tape Library is equipped with ten IBM System Storage ULT3580-TD6 LTO Ultrium 6 Tape Drives, split into two logical groups. The new tape drives support the latest LTO Generation 6 cartridge specification. Read after write verification ensures that EURONICS Deutschland can fully rely on its tape backups.
The IBM and SAP solution implemented by IBM Business Partner FRITZ & MACZIOL substantially improves and simplifies the management of the IT infrastructure at EURONICS Deutschland, especially in three areas: storage planning, disk recovery and failovers.
EURONICS Deutschland now operates its mission-critical SAP ERP applications on two servers with uncapped logical partitions, ensuring best performance for mixed workloads of production and test systems thanks to advanced virtualization technology.
By routing all input and output on the IBM Power Systems servers through the Virtual I/O Server software, EURONICS Deutschland has increased flexibility and simplified systems management. For increased business continuity, every SAN connection is configured redundantly; at least two Fibre Channel links connect each Virtual I/O Server to the SAN switch. Improved availability helps EURONICS Deutschland to avoid downtime costs of around €50,000 per hour.
The virtualized SAN architecture simplified the storage environment considerably and is much easier to manage. Previously, managing storage volumes for SAP ERP and VMware applications, which create high levels of random I/O workload, was a complex process. Detailed planning was required to set up volumes and configure RAID arrays in order to optimize performance and resilience. With IBM SAN Volume Controller and IBM XIV Storage Systems, data is striped evenly across the available disks and accessed in parallel on the IBM XIV device, the required performance levels can easily be achieved without any specific planning.
IBM XIV storage systems also make it easier to deal with disk failures, as its autonomic self-healing capabilities can rebuild the contents of an individual failed disk in less than 40 minutes. In the case of a more serious failure that affects an entire system, the IBM SAN Volume Controller stretched cluster enables rapid, automatic and seamless failover to a different node – enabling business continuity with zero downtime for users.
Ulrich Müller explains, “Based on the smart storage management features of IBM SAN Volume Controller and IBM XIV, we can manage our entire storage environment with just two IT staff, while the rest of the IT team focus on other priorities. And thanks to the optimized storage solution, all SAP production data together with other systems are now mirrored using the VDisk Mirroring feature. This allows us to streamline data synchronization processes, because we can use a single approach to ensure data protection across all servers and computing architectures.”
Using DB2 Storage Optimization, EURONICS Deutschland achieves transparent data compression rates of up to 80 percent for its SAP ERP databases.
By switching the primary physical servers hosting the SAP ERP applications regularly every six weeks, EURONICS uses its resources flexibly and gains experience in moving systems across its servers. This procedure makes sure that the company’s IT staff can handle such situations easily and gives the company the confidence that its high availability and failover solution works when needed.
Standardizing and simplifying backup and recovery processes has improved backup management substantially. EURONICS Deutschland can now perform point in time recovery, which was not possible with the previous backup solution.
Based on the new backup processes and improved backup performance, EURONICS Deutschland reduced backup time by 10 percent. Ulrich Müller remarks, “Thanks to the extended tape solution with ten I/O slots compared to six in the past, we have substantially improved our I/O throughput. Following the upgrade, throughput rates increased by more than 50 percent from 330 GB an hour to 500 GB an hour during space reclamation processes.”
The better performance also reduced the time required to write away the copy pool volume once a month from two hours to only half an hour, a reduction of 75 percent.
Ulrich Müller says, “The new LTO6 cartridges can store eight times more data than the tapes used previously at EURONICS Deutschland. Together with the requirement to store backup tapes at an external location, the capacity increase of the LTO Generation 6 tape technology has a huge impact and reduces the tape management workload by 80 percent.”
After successful server and storage virtualization, EURONICS Deutschland wants to continue optimizing its IT operations by introducing further automation features. To provide an easy to manage environment that enables EURONICS Deutschland IT team to react quickly to requests from internal departments for new services, the company is looking at virtualizing network management and taking advantage of software-defined networking.
To respond to changing and increasingly flexible working arrangements, EURONICS Deutschland also wants to support lean workplaces with virtual desktop environments, granting staff freedom to work from various locations, always with the same set of business applications – and with zero configuration.
Ulrich Müller concludes, “As a company, we always want to provide the best service we can. That is why we work with strong and reliable partners. Just as the EURONICS Deutschland-sponsored DTM team in the German Touring Car Masters racing series wants to win races, we want to outperform our competition in the retail marketplace. IBM and SAP support us in our ambitious business strategy, and we are confident that together we can further streamline our processes and expand our leading position in the market.”
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
Power 740 AIX Solution Edition, Power 770, Power Systems, Power Systems running AIX Express Edition, Storage, Storage: Tape & Optical Storage, Storage: TS3500 Tape Library, Storage: XIV, System Networking, System Networking: SAN48B-5, System x, System x: System x running hypervisor - VMware, System x: System x running Linux - Other, System x: System x running Windows
PowerVM Enterprise (VIOS), PowerHA for AIX Enterprise Edition, PowerHA for AIX, PowerHA, System Storage SAN Volume Controller, Tivoli Storage Manager, DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows, PowerVM, DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows for SAP Applications, Virtual I/O Server, SVC for XIV, PowerVM Virtual I/O Server
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