DataCore Software has announced that SANsymphony™ was chosen by JULABO GmbH as the software-defined storage platform best suited to support its flexible virtual infrastructure. JULABO, a Germany-based worldwide provider of high-quality temperature control solutions, chose SANsymphony to ensure business continuity and high performance of VMware vSphere virtual machines synchronized across German and U.S. data centers. The VMs support Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft SQL Server and Matrix42 software and workspace management applications. A JULABO data center in Allentown, Pennsylvania mirrors the German headquarters systems located in the Black Forest using DataCore replication software and Riverbed WAN technology.

“The complete infrastructure project was implemented and supports the network, servers and storage using DataCore SANsymphony cost-effectively. The entire project was carried out at the same cost as what would we would have paid for storage alone if we had chosen a major storage hardware provider,” said Jürgen Jonescheit, CIO JULABO GmbH.

JULABO GmbH is one of the foremost providers of high-quality, reliable and high-performance “Made in Germany” temperature control solutions for high-tech industries. With 10 branch offices on three continents and more than 400 employees, the central IT team provides support for Microsoft Dynamics ERP and other business-critical applications.

JULABO was faced with the need to move data between its remote sites and to headquarters, while also supporting rapid growth and new business requirements in its local markets. Growing workloads caused increased demands for high availability and greater flexibility, prompting it to implement a comprehensive virtual infrastructure across the entire organization. Today JULABO maintains mirrored computer centers in two different sites, protected with various fire compartments, as well as a third computer center located to support off-site storage of backups. All of the sites are connected via a high-performance fibre channel network.

Parallel I/O, Fusion-io and High-Speed Caching Drive 5x Performance Increase

DataCore partner and system integrator Leitwerk AG was commissioned to implement VMware vSphere and DataCore SANsymphony on the main site. Today all systems are virtualized, with workloads running across 170 virtual machines on redundantly designed VMware ESX servers on HP Proliant hardware, each with 768 GB RAM and 16 cores.

SANsymphony also runs on an HP Proliant and virtualizes 50TB of storage capacity (SAS, SATA, SSD/flash) while providing synchronized highly available data to applications. DataCore provides auto failover protection and high availability to ensure accessibility to the two HP D2700 disk shelves. In addition to DataCore’s high-speed caching, Fusion-io PCIe flash memory cards were integrated within the DataCore software-defined storage nodes, providing cost-effective performance by using DataCore auto-tiering to manage and optimize performance and resource utilization.

DataCore’s Parallel I/O technology leverages multi-cores to improve I/O performance and response times needed by demanding applications by processing I/O requests in parallel. JULABO estimates that, in comparison with hardware-bound architecture, DataCore has resulted in a five-fold increase in performance. Up to 40,000 IOPS with 64K blocks were achieved during tests under realistic real-world conditions.

“Hardware solutions were not able to achieve the DataCore performance results and value, even with twice the number of spindles,” Jonescheit added.

“We chose DataCore because of its excellent price/performance ratio and its outstanding technical design. Good examples are the automatic failover for high availability and auto-tiering for performance. We have put this functionality into practice successfully. However, the flexibility resulting from hardware independence does not only have technical and functional advantages. It also allows us to flexibly extend our infrastructure cost-effectively to maximize our economic efficiency, as we are now vendor-independent,” Jonescheit concluded.

Benefits at a glance:

• DataCore reduces storage-related costs by 50%.

• Performance has improved 5-fold.

• Storage-related failures were reduced by 90%.

• Time spent on routine administrative tasks was reduced by 90%.

• Planned downtime (data migrations, upgrades, updates) was reduced by over 95%.

• DataCore managed to convert 50% of unused storage space into available free storage capacity.