Volkswagen Protects With DataCore

Volkswagen Financial Services (UK) uses DataCore virtualization software for disaster protection and optimum utilization of storage

May 16, 2007

2 Min Read
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READING, U.K. -- Volkswagen Financial Services (UK) Ltd, (VWFS) has selected DataCores SANmelody solution to provide a dedicated, virtualized Storage Area Network (SAN) with central management and auto failover and recovery to protect its business critical data, which is growing 300% year-on-year.

VWFS is one of the largest financial services companies in the UK – offering financial services products to around 800 automotive outlets of the Volkswagen Group, including Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, SEAT, Skoda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. VWFS employs 450 staff and loaned over £1 billion of financial agreements in 2006. VWFS is running two data centers in Milton Keynes, supporting 450 internal staff and providing application support through to the UK retailer networks. Compliance and other financial regulations, such as the Financial Services Act, make adherence to high availability and tight disaster recovery (DR) planning a necessity for the IT Department. Their previous DR plans involved two mirrored recovery sites with continuous replication to support the networks 100 servers – all running their own SATA direct attached storage. The system was flawed in that if a failure occurred, each server had to be individually rebuilt. Also, with no management, VWFS had to allocate each server the correct amount of disk space. Mike Duxbury, senior networking specialist, Volkswagen Financial Services, noted, “We recognized that immediate savings could be gained with a DataCore virtualized SAN as it would only allocate the disk space that was needed and we could simply replace or plug in more disk; whereas in the past we’ve had to over-allocate disk space and partitioning requirements.”

To meet their requirements of central management and auto recovery, Premier Computer Supplies tendered two HP servers running DataCore’s SANmelody 2.0 virtual infrastructure solution that would robustly support Microsoft Virtual Server applications. From a hardware perspective SANmelody is truly agnostic, so VWFS decided that the existing HP MSA 20 SATA enclosures should be redeployed within the SANmelody solution to hold the mirror volumes from the remote site and reutilized all existing SATA drives. It was selected to virtualize the existing network storage because of its auto recovery features and its ability to centrally provide capacity on demand, thereby reducing administrative efforts and improving utilization of existing capacity.

Mike notes that it wasn’t long into the installation that SANmelody was put to the test, “As a result of disk failure, one server went offline but SANmelody’s auto-failover function kicked in, switching the servers to the mirrored site and began to seamlessly rebuild the volumes in the background. The failing server was rebuilt within minutes – all with minimal intervention from the team.”

DataCore Software Corp.

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