Step 1: server and storage consolidation
The IT infrastructure, enhanced over the years by adding new servers to meet the needs of new applications and services, had reached a level of complexity that require action optimization and rationalization of resources. The presence of 15 servers of varying power and configuration, not interconnected and easily interchangeable, it required an increasing management difficulties showing little flexibility to change and use and exploitation of resources is not balanced.
A complex situation that affected the quality of service to users, further burdened the increase of the electric system that was saturating the total capacity of power supply to the engine room, and the maintenance more difficult and costly for the succession of upgrades to add servers and storage cards.
Moreover, the decision to acquire the SAP ERP application and the Siemens Teamcenter®, would require the inclusion of other high-performance server, threatening to exacerbate an already in itself quite critical.
“In 2007, with the support of Lan & Wan Solutions, the system integrator for years behind us in the choices and in the design of our infrastructure” Bettiato adds, “we redesigned our computer system consolidating server farms and storage in a virtualized environment to streamline and optimize the use of resources while increasing performance, decreasing costs and to add ease and flexibility of management by improving service levels. One step we have taken choosing the environment for VMware server virtualization, supported by the SAN storage EMC CLARiiON CX3. The benefits of performance, cost and reliability have been almost immediate. “
The 15 physical servers were consolidated in a blade server with VMware Infrastructure Enterprise 3.0, enabling 7 virtual machines on which were present the same application. A reduction achieved not having the need for redundancy and distribute certain services across multiple physical servers for problems of processing power. The activation of new virtual machines, currently 20 in total, to support new applications, including SAP ERP and Teamcenter of Siemens, has occurred then with extreme speed and simplicity. To support the VMware was installed a SAN storage with EMC CLARiiON CX3-10 Fibre Channel disks with a total capacity of 4 TB early, later expanded to about 10 TB. Storage infrastructure, high performance, highly reliable, scalable and able to perfectly serve the new IT architecture of Unox, allowing you to efficiently manage corporate data and ensure fast and secure access to applications.
The EMC CLARiiON installed Unox has SnapView, software that allows you to make point- in-time copies of Mon discs belonging to the same system to be used for different purposes and Replication Manager software to provide automated management of replicas consistent with the application.
This new high-performance and reliable infrastructure has allowed UNOX to start in 2009 with a project of centralization and virtualization of the desktop with the help of Microsoft Terminal Server and VMware VDI, then became VIEW by introducing VSPHERE 4 in 2010. Energy saving is another great achievement. “We have no precise data concerning the electricity consumption before and after consolidation, but assessments made we can safely say that saving is higher than 15 %, whereas today the applications running in your VMware are about three times more than available with physical servers,” said Bettiato.
Step 2 : streamlining the backup process
Until 2009 backup procedures were performed using a robotic tape library with LT03 technology and respecting corporate policies that provide for daily incremental backups and weekly full backups with a retention period of data a month. A process “traditional” that proved no longer adequate for the growing amount of data and information to save and store because of the increasing activities and new applications. The challenge in meeting the backup time windows available were increasingly evident: daily incremental backups lasted the entire night with the risk of not completed before the start of the work, while a week needed for the entire weekend be completed. Not to mention the complex and laborious tape management and recovery time excessively long.
“We had reached a critical level that requires a complete overhaul of the backup processes, increasing the speed by restoring the necessary security guarantees for business information. The alternative of acquiring a new tape library with more performance and capacity, we have opted for an advanced backup and deduplication best suited to our current needs and support future developments that we are planning, “said Bettiato”. We then selected the solution storage backup and Data Domain deduplication from EMC and as well as having brilliantly solved all the problems of performance, after a few months we have achieved a compression ratio of 5: 1 with a view to arrive shortly to 10 : 1. It means that 10 TB of data to be saved corresponds to an effective occupation of storage of 1TB, with the benefits easily imaginable speed and less occupation of space on disk and tape.”
The Data Domain solution offers all the advantages of a disk backup capabilities combined with data deduplication “block of variable length”, patented by Data Domain, compared to that block of fixed length, it reduces the amount of redundant data obtaining compressions by factors of deduplication greater than 20: 1.
With the installation of the library EMC Data Domain DD630 – a nominal capacity of 12 TB corresponding to more than 120 TB of actual data to be saved, considering a compression ratio of 10: 1 – the backup process in Unox has definitely improved. Currently it is changed 5 backup streams in parallel, the first executable sequentially, drastically reducing both the incremental backup and full of that and still have room for improvement given that the library Data Domain has a bandwidth capacity can sustain throughput greater than 1.1 TB / hour, quite far from being saturated.
The period of retention of the full backup has increased from 1 to 3 months increasing security and making any recovery extremely fast executable directly from disk library Data Domain. The tape backup procedure still needs to be disaster recovery, he has benefited. Are stored only the full backup weekly, using data deduplication, now occupy only a couple of boxes than the previous 15-20, to the advantage of ease of handling and storage.