IT Science Case Study: Keeping Virtual Machines Running 24/7

Fitesa’s IT department began to search for an updated solution that eliminated vendor lock-in and had low storage hardware requirements while meeting their budgets. They found one in StorMagic.

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Here is the latest article in the eWEEK feature series called IT Science, in which we look at what actually happens at the intersection of new-gen IT and legacy systems.

Unless it’s brand new and right off various assembly lines, servers, storage and networking inside every IT system can be considered “legacy.” This is because the iteration of both hardware and software products is speeding up all the time. It’s not unusual for an app-maker, for example, to update and/or patch for security purposes an application a few times a month, or even a week. Some apps are updated daily! Hardware moves a little slower, but manufacturing cycles are also speeding up.

These articles describe new-gen industry solutions. The idea is to look at real-world examples of how new-gen IT products and services are making a difference in production each day. Most of them are success stories, but there will also be others about projects that blew up. We’ll have IT integrators, system consultants, analysts and other experts helping us with these as needed.

Today’s Topic: Keeping Virtual Machines Running 24/7

Name the problem to be solved: Fitesa Germany GmbH’s (a plastics products supplier in Peine, Germany) had stringent data management challenges that includes the need for high system uptime and availability, so staff can access production applications running as virtual machines around the clock. Fitesa’s two data centers previously housed HP Blade Center with Eva4000 storage which presented a single storage type—and single point of failure—that greatly increased the organization’s risk for downtime events.

Describe the strategy that went into finding the solution: Fitesa’s IT department began to search for an updated solution that eliminated vendor lock-in and had low storage hardware requirements while meeting their budgets. The ideal new system was to deliver 24x7 uptime to meet the stringent requirements of Fitesa’s24x7x365 live production environment.

List the key components in the solution: Fitesa Germany GmbH decided to deploy Dell PowerEdge R720 servers running VMWare ESXi in each data center. StorMagic SvSAN Standard Edition runs on these servers in a stretched cluster configuration for added resiliency. Fitesa is running guest virtual machines including Linux, and data is replicated using Veeam software to a third location for disaster recovery.

Describe how the deployment went, perhaps how long it took, and if it came off as planned: IT generalists can deploy the solution in less than 10 minutes, and Fitesa is using StorMagic’s WebGUI to remotely manage the systems from a single location. The customer has achieved 100 percent uptime since installation, to support their 24x7x365 live production environment.

Describe the result, new efficiencies gained, and what was learned from the project: StorMagic SvSAN makes life much easier; we are achieving 100 percent continuous uptime, which is mandatory for our 24x7x365 live production environment. Fitesa instantly integrated simplicity and removed complexities with StorMagic’s highly available, easy to manage and affordable virtual SAN.” --Dirk Mueller, IT Manager, Fitesa Germany GmbH

Describe ROI, carbon footprint savings, and staff time savings, if any: Fitesa GmbH is achieving 100 percent uptime to support their 24x7x365 live production environment with their StorMagic solution. SvSAN eliminates the need for large footprint data storage systems, external disks, storage networking and cabling, and is on average 50 percent less expensive than traditional physical SAN alternatives.

If you have a suggestion for an eWEEK IT Science article, email cpreimesberger@eweek.com.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...