Reading, UK, 9 March 07. Basler Insurance, one of Germany?s leading insurance companies, has future-proofed its storage architecture to withstand the ultimate disaster scenario ? the complete destruction of the main data centre. Due to the powerful combination of DataCore?s virtualisation and AIM (Asynchronous IP Mirroring) technologies, should the worse happen, business critical operations can be continued after only a few hours.
Basler Insurance ranks among the top 30 insurance companies in Germany and was formed through the merger of Basler and Securitas in 2003; leaving a legacy infrastructure of two data centres, 400 km apart, which potentially exposed business critical data. An emergency data replication scenario that continuously updates business critical data between Bad Homburg and Bremen needed to be implemented with servers being staged and fed continuously with replicated data to withstand emergencies.
Cologne based IT service provider, Kramer & Crew, developed a multi-stage security scenario to span across both data centres. Their proposed solution framework consisted of the SAN in the primary data centre being designated as highly available with DataCore?s virtualisation platform, SANsymphony. Two Storage Domain Servers (SDS) running SANsymphony Enterprise Edition, provide the central interface of all disc storage, taking on the allocation of the virtual devices and mirroring in the SAN. Today, there are two redundant midrange HDS devices in use (2 x 4.5 TB Tagmastor AMS 200), for business critical data as well as a cost-efficient SATA array as a target device for snapshots and for the recovery – in case of data loss.
One immediate cost saving that Basler experienced was that an older enterprise storage subsystem whose leasing contract had expired, was replaced during the project with more cost-efficient hardware. “It makes sense to make the data highly available and to mirror it locally in the SAN before the replication occurs. But many users balk at investing in redundant high-performance systems. SANsymphony offers a true alternative, as it carries forward the functionality to every beneficial storage subsystem imaginable. Thereby, users can cost effectively extend the capacity for the mirroring without forfeiting performance or security of the data”, explains Servet Büyük, Sales Executive, Kramer & Crew.
Asynchronous Mirroring via WAN:
The data replication is controlled by the AIM tool integrated in SANsymphony, that daily replicates the data to Bremen in the background. The smaller storage management platform SANmelody with AIM client and a further Tagmastor system forms the target of the asynchronous mirroring. This multi-stage data mirroring concept secures File Services and office data under Novell Netware, a DB 2-based insurance application, the datawarehouse system based on SAS and the human resource system based on an Oracle data base.
“The decision in favour of a double data mirror proved absolutely correct. When we had a breakdown, DataCore?s automatic failover function pitched in and ensured that our applications were spared”, Thomas Dörr, Head of DP / Network, Basler, sums up. “Today we have a fully functioning disaster recovery solution as well as on-site high availability and hardware independence, with cost savings of up to 50 percent. Both Kramer & Crew and DataCore have provided us with outstanding support and advice.”
About Basler Insurance
Basler Insurance headquartered in Bad Homburg is a affiliate of the Swiss Bâloise conglomerate and ranks among the top 30 insurance companies in Germany. Basler Insurance employs 1.300 associates as well as around 400 distributor partners. The consolidated premium volume of the company amounted to 680 Million Euros in the finacial year 2005.
About Kramer & Crew GmbH
Kramer & Crew was founded in 1992 and has its head office in Cologne. The system integrator with 20 associates has specialized on mid-sized clients – from enterprises in industry and trade as well as insurance companies up to authorities and service providers. The company has focused on seminal issues as SANs, server based computing and memory management. They are partnered with well-known producers such as Hitachi Data Systems, Commvault, DataCore and Citrix. Kramer & Crew offers a range of capabilities from professional consulting to the system deployments. As a system integrator they have demonstrated their competence in numerous demanding projects all over Germany. For further information, go to www.kramerundcrew.de.
About DataCore Software
DataCore Software, a leading provider of virtualization software, fundamentally changes the economics of managing storage with innovative software that combines advanced functions and services with the agility and savings of hardware independence. DataCore’s disk server software easily adds capacity expansion and centralized storage management for Windows, UNIX, Linux, VMware, MacOS, and NetWare systems. DataCore is privately held and its corporate headquarters are in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. For more information, call (877) 780-5111 or visit www.datacore.com.
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