The IT Department of SITA NEWS, with Belgian, Dutch and German activities, counts 70 members of staff. They offer support to 3,000 users, spread across 150 sites in the three countries. Like many other companies, SITA has found itself having to cope with ever increasing data volumes. “The capacity of the existing SAN environment was no longer satisfactory”, explains ICT HOSTING Manager Bart De Cuyper. “At that, our service contract was about to expire. Fact of the matter was that the solution had simply run its course.” In first instance, SITA took a close look at its storage requirements and asked Belgacom to assess the situation objectively.
“We needed to know whether we could cover all our requirements with one storage environment”, continues Bart De Cuyper. We soon realised though that there had to be a better option. “What our users need more than anything is document storage capacity. The server park – VMware virtualised – in first instance calls for performance.” SITA decided to keep both elements separate, but also needed to keep its budget under control. Bart De Cuyper: “We already had experience of NetApp and were keen to build on that expertise. Over the years, the performance of NetApp has always been consistent and we were determined to keep it like that. The storage environment is genuinely critical to our business, for, when that environment is unavailable, our staff no longer have any access to their documents.”
Belgacom implemented a new NetApp environment at SITA, consisting of three SANs covering the two SITA data centres in Beerse. Bart De Cuyper: “The first site is equipped with two devices: one for our production data and one that is used as backup. The second site acts as failover and contains a copy of the backup.” Providing the support for this particular configuration was not a problem for NetApp. Active data, failover and backup have now been integrated into one environment. “We are delighted that we were also able to incorporate the backup into this set-up. Before that, we used to work with tapes, which was a fairly time-consuming business. At that, we could never be 100 % sure that, if the need arose, the backup would actually be usable. In that respect, the new solution has given us absolute peace of mind.”
SITA’s active production data alone account for a volume of 30 TB. The new NetApp environment is designed in such a way that it will be able to cope with an extra 70 TB over the next five years. “It goes without saying that – if need be – we will easily be able to add extra cabinets. Thus, capacity is certainly not going to be an issue again any time soon.” The fact that SITA does not impose any storage limits on its staff, not even on their own mailboxes, speaks for itself. SITA has contracted the maintenance of the solution out to Belgacom. “As a result, we don’t have to worry about the SAN environment anymore. The only thing that matters to us is that our staff have access to our critical data. That operational reliability has now been guaranteed.”
SITA specialises in waste management. The group forms part of SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT. SITA is responsible for the efficient and sustainable collection and processing of waste. The group offers solutions geared towards the conservation of raw materials and the protection of ecosystems, for consumers and industry alike.
The NetApp environment provides SITA with:
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