Case Studies

We are committed to service quality and customer satisfaction in all of our projects and we strive to create long-term relationships with our customers. We provide solutions instead of products, and this is why we concentrate in analyzing and discussing  the real needs and requirements of each project.

We have selected to present below a few characteristic projects IVIS has completed in the past years, based on their size, criticality and particular problems. These projects are related to data storage, disaster recovery, virtualization and data security.

Snapshot and VTL backup for a Greek private bank

A bank's IT infrastructure is a very dynamic an critical environment with systems that must be online around the clock under any circumstances and conforming to strict rules and standards related to data protection.

Backup is crucial in such an environment. The backup window is <2 hours, backups need to be sent off-site and the data volumes are tens of TB's of different types: OLTP (OnLine Transaction Processing) and DWH (Data WareHouse).

It was clear from the beginning that traditional backup methods could not meet the requirements at a reasonable cost. IVIS designed and proposed a 3-level backup scheme which could satisfy the demanding backup window and at the same time follow the strict banking procedures for protection and retention. The solution included snapshots, VTL, tapes and the existing TSM software.

  • Snapshots provided the ability to create full backups of all data in minutes and keep them on the primary storage systems for days, without any performance impact and with minimum space requirements, as well as the ability to restore operation from a previous snapshot in minutes, even for the large DWH volumes.
  • A new NetApp VTL was deployed and integrated with TSM. At a 2nd stage backups were moved fast from snapshots to the VTL. Using hardware compressions and deduplication space reduction was possible at a rate greater than 25:1
  • The existing mid-end tape library was used. Although the device was slow, this had no impact on the backup window. Tapes were created weekly and were shipped off-site.

The NDMP protocol was used for all data transfers for server-free (or LAN-free) backups to achieve high speeds in all stages. The backup window was dramatically reduced and the backup policy greatly improved, while for the first time it was possible to fully restore critical applications with large data volumes in minutes.

The solution used existing hardware and software and required a low investment. The project was designed and deployed, and is maintained and supported, by IVIS.

Data Replication for Pharmaceuticals Company

A multi-national pharmaceuticals company requires uninterrupted operation for both its offices and production facilities. The IT department must support this operation, be prepared to handle failures and disasters and furthermore comply to the required standards, all at the lowest possible cost.

For this company, which has its main offices located in Athens and its production facility in northern Greece, IVIS was asked to deploy a reliable data replication solution for the existing EMC, HP and IBM storage systems. The 2 sites were 800 km apart and the solution would be the basis of a required robust disaster recovery plan.

The solution deployed by IVIS included one clustered IBM V-series gateways installed in each site. In addition, SnapManager software was deployed for application-consistent snapshots and replication of Exchange, Oracle, SQL and SAP data. The gateways fully utilized the existing installed storage systems to provide the required disk capacity for all business applications, and also added advanced features to the IT infrastructure, like deduplication and thin provisioning for the first time. Replication between the 2 sites was achieved with great bandwidth saving due to the deduplicated nature of the transferred data.

The IBM gateways unified all disk systems under one storage resource for each site, independently of the system type and manufacturer. This provided a common storage platform and increased the availability and performance of the IT operations, while reducing the administration overhead for both sites.

As a result, the advanced data replication project deployed by IVIS is today the basis of a new advanced data protection policy in the company with local snapshots (online backups) for critical applications, and also of a concrete disaster recovery plan.  The common storage platform is also the basis of long term benefits and the IT department's readiness for future virtualization and cloud projects.

Unified Storage for Shipping Company

Running a commercial fleet of ships around the world requires a well organized IT department to support communications and decisions around the clock. This Greek shipping company wanted to build a reliable storage infrastructure to lower its administration overhead and costs, and create a stable platform for future applications. The selected solution would support all IT operations for several years to come.

IVIS was asked to suggest and deploy a solution for such storage requirements with vertical and horizontal expandability, security and availability, for the critical SQL, Exchange, Danaos and SharePoint applications. Server virtualization with both VMWare and Hyper-V was already in place with plans to expand. File services were also required by the same storage solution for about 200 users. Snapshots, fast backup to tapes and disaster recovery were also required.

IVIS analyzed the present and projected needs, and prepared a migration methodology for moving from the old existing storage system to the new solution with no risk and minimal impact on operations. The proposed solution was one enterprise NetApp Unified Storage with FC and SATA disks for all needs and one smaller system in the secondary site. The solution included snapshots, deduplication and thin provisioning with emphasis and served SAN and IP-SAN (iSCSI) data for central applications, as well as NAS data for user files, all from one system.

After the deployment, the whole IT infrastructure was upgraded, and is now in position to reliably provide 24x7x365 services. Critical applications and users now enjoy high availability and performance and the safety of snapshots to restore old data in seconds without going to tapes. Specifically for the VMWare and Hyper-V environment, the space savings exceeded 80%. Users also enjoy fast NAS services with the safety of automatic snapshots and the easiness to retrieve themselves a previous version of their files.