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SDN Journal Authors: Lori MacVittie, Liz McMillan, Dinko Eror, Pat Romanski, Peter Silva

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AVIA Service Stations Rely on DataCore Storage Virtualization for Business Continuity and Critical Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP System Operations

AVIA Osterwalder Zurich AG, the leading operator and supplier of AVIA gas stations in Switzerland, has deployed DataCore storage virtualization software to improve its storage performance, simplify management and provide high-speed mirrored protection for its mission-critical applications. These applications include the company’s core ERP application Microsoft Dynamics NAV plus its Microsoft SQL Database and Microsoft Exchange mail systems. With DataCore’s SANsymphony-V storage virtualization in place the company has added a new level of business continuity and high-availability at its main IT site and has put in place the infrastructure to support disaster recovery through additional replication capabilities to an outsourced data center. DataCore’s SANsymphony-V has proven itself to be cost-effective and reliable.

"Our IT operations and critical business applications are exposed to constant change and growth demands, with the DataCore solution in place we not only have met our acute needs, but we have made a long-term investment that we believe is a strategic advantage,” said Christian Arragain, head of the computer science department at Osterwalder Zurich AG. “Without hesitation, we can say that everything promised with SANsymphony-V has been delivered."

AVIA Osterwalder Zurich AG is a member of AVIA International, operating more than 3,000 AVIA petrol stations in 14 European countries. Osterwalder Zurich AG operates over 120 petrol stations in Switzerland and needs to ensure the supply and flow of fuels be completed while maintaining the highest level of safety. Besides petroleum products for service stations Osterwalder Zurich AG supplies wholesale and retail customers with diesel fuel, lubricants, fuel oils and pellets.

ERP system is the core application to run the business

At Osterwalder Zurich AG, all IT Services provided are centrally located. The heart of the IT operations is the ERP system, which manages orders, processing and delivery to gas stations and business clients. Microsoft Dynamics NAV is the basis of the ERP system implemented. While no downtime is tolerable, a failure in the winter months for business is almost unthinkable.

The company needed to increase its reliability and provide better protection for its central storage systems and the best way to do so was to establish a second data center remote from the site in Niederhasli (about twenty kilometers away from the main site). With two data centers, the company would have access to more capacity, higher performance and increased availability with a solution that could provide fast synchronous mirroring and a cost-effective solution for disaster recovery.

SANsymphony-V better protects AVIA’s business and investments

In the central data center, SANsymphony-V runs on two standard IBM servers, in effect, transforming them into intelligent storage servers. These DataCore servers provision and supply both the internal and external storage capacity from arrays to application servers. DataCore caching optimizes all workloads across all their storage to greatly improve performance and application response times. Between the two redundant DataCore systems the data is synchronously mirrored at high-speeds. Continuous availability of operations is ensured through the auto failover and auto failback features of SANsymphony-V. In effect, the systems stay up and if one side fails it provides an automatic restart making the process non-disruptive to the critical business applications.

For their disaster recovery site AVIA Osterwalder Zurich AG has implemented automatic, asynchronous site replication using DataCore’s integrated Advanced Site Recovery feature over a WAN link. This link connects to an emergency data center for disaster recovery purposes. At this remote location, a VMware server and a DataCore storage server with internal storage capacity is operating on IBM hardware. The systems use asynchronous mirroring to replicate vital information between the sites. In case of a major emergency or site disaster, the data center, which is equipped with emergency generators, can be begin operating in a very short time.

"The concept and our evaluation process with existing references convinced us that DataCore was the right solution. In addition to the high availability and disaster recovery requirements, DataCore’s storage virtualization software provided a new level of flexibility and ease of management. Even more, the evaluation we conducted showed clearly that DataCore offered the best value for money, so we decided in favor of SANsymphony-V,” continued Arragain.

About DataCore Software

DataCore is a leader in software-defined storage. The company’s storage virtualization software empowers organizations to seamlessly manage and scale their data storage architectures, delivering massive performance gains at a fraction of the cost of solutions offered by legacy storage hardware vendors. Backed by 10,000 customer sites around the world, DataCore’s adaptive and self-learning and healing technology takes the pain out of manual processes and helps deliver on the promise of the new software defined data center through its hardware agnostic architecture. Visit or call (877) 780-5111 for more information.

DataCore, the DataCore logo and SANsymphony are trademarks or registered trademarks of DataCore Software Corporation. Other DataCore product or service names or logos referenced herein are trademarks of DataCore Software Corporation. All other products, services and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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