Brennercom, an Italian-based Telecommunication Technology Company, has Extended its Redundant, High-availability Storage Infrastructure to Service its Private Cloud and Virtual Desktop Requirements.
DataCore Software today announced that information and communication technology (ICT) company Brennercom has attained a new level of business continuity and performance for its virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and cloud services using the DataCore SANsymphony™-V Storage Hypervisor.
By making use of the SANsymphony-V storage hypervisor, corporate data is centrally administrated on a variety of different hardware storage solutions and all of it is protected by DataCore’s synchronous mirroring capability. The virtualization software from DataCore required only a quarter of the investment that would have been needed for a hardware-based SAN to provide a stable, high performance VMware View VDI for 160 desktop platforms, in addition to supporting the storage needs for all of its virtual machines running on VMware vSphere.
"The virtualization and common central management provided by the DataCore storage hypervisor considerably reduced our IT division's work load. New systems can now be fully set up for users within 10 minutes, unlike the laborious, many hours and days set-up required to install physical server storage systems in the past. Fast provisioning and capacity expansions can now be easily implemented via the central console with a few mouse clicks in the event of an acute need for storage," explained Roberto Sartin, head of Technical Division at Brennercom.
Establishment of Virtual Desktop and Cloud Infrastructure
At Brennercom, internal IT services are provided by the IT Management Division. The Division decided to extend its existing virtual VMware server infrastructure and to establish a VDI and cloud services based on VMware. To handle the expansion, it was decided that a new approach to managing data storage was needed.
The primary drivers were two-fold: First, Brennercom needed to expand its external computer center to accommodate new cloud computing services. Central and efficient system administration was a core objective of this extension. Second, Brennercom needed greater high-availability due to the increased business continuity requirements that would result from its move to centralization. The project plan and investments also encompassed the need for a later partial move of a number of the systems to a second location in Trento (about 30 miles away) to ensure that the immediate, high-availability system could be backed up by a two-site disaster recovery model for the purposes of required ISO audits.
The company also had to consider the planned consolidation of its current, heterogeneous IT landscape at the Bozen site. While the central computer center services were based on a fiber channel infrastructure, some divisions were making use of iSCSI storage. Apart from vSphere virtual machines, Citrix XenServer was also used in some areas.
Cost-effective VDI with 160 desktops
The VDI with VMware View is based on an integrated system supporting virtualized storage and virtualized servers. The decision to use this platform was taken after the positive experience gained with the VMware hypervisor. The 160 desktops are successfully being migrated to the notebooks or thin clients of the field workers and the helpdesk, using the centralized infrastructure. The long-term benefits of VDI lie in the lower costs and the less cumbersome, centralized administration needed when it comes to the setup, updating and maintenance of these virtual desktops.
"On the storage side, the VDI and the virtual servers are supported by DataCore’s round-the-clock, failsafe storage infrastructure and performance has been enhanced by intelligent caching, fulfilling all our expectations," comments Sartin. "By using the DataCore storage hypervisor, we were able to integrate a technically complex solution with a universal range of services to meet the short-term performance and high-availability requirements of our VDI needs. In addition, the integrated migration and replication features have created the basis for efficiently implementing the planned model we need for disaster recovery."
Flexible Infrastructure for Cloud Services
The next large-scale project to be concluded by year-end 2012 is dividing and synchronizing the existing systems between the computer centers in Bolzano and Trento so that operations can continue at one location in the event of a catastrophe.
"As is the case in other industries, business continuity is an absolute necessity for us. By making use of the DataCore solution within the virtual infrastructure created by VMware vSphere and VDI, we cannot only ensure that we meet these corporate requirements, but also guarantee optimal cost efficiency as a result of the hardware independence of the solution. This affects both the direct investment and the indirect and long-term cost of refreshes, expansions and added hardware acquisitions. We have thus created the technical basis for our external IT services, and within this framework we are creating the most flexible and varied range of cloud services possible," concludes Brennercom CEO, Dr. Karl Manfredi.
To read more regarding this deployment, please access a complete case study concerning DataCore’s implementation at Brennercom: Brennercom SpA Case Study.