"ETERNUS is now the core element at the heart of our IT architecture, connecting multiple components from different vendors. It is probably the most important device in the whole environment"
Branimir Polin, IT Operations Sector Director, DDOR Novi Sad
DDOR Novi Sad is one of the largest insurance companies in Serbia, offering auto, home, commercial and life insurance. Its origins date back to the end of World War II when it was founded as National Insurance and Reinsurance. It has operated under its current name since June 1990 when it was registered as a Joint Stock Company. Currently part of the the Italian Unipol Group, it aims to actively participate in the improvement of the Serbian market, by providing services of the highest standards for the protection of policyholders.
The company has had a long and fruitful relationship with Fujitsu and in 2010 undertook a major restructuring of its IT architecture involving virtualization and data center consolidation. However, this project necessitated a fresh approach to disaster recovery (DR) and data backup.
“We’ve been strategic partners with Fujitsu for many years so it was a natural fit when we came to overhaul our overall IT infrastructure,” explains Branimir Polin, IT Operations Sector Director, DDOR Novi Sad. “Thanks to Fujitsu’s deep knowledge and understanding of our company, it could offer the best possible solution in terms of scale and cost. Naturally when we then came to look at improving our DR capabilities, we turned to Fujitsu for further assistance.”
One of the most significant challenges was upgrading the backup and DR within a limited budget. Since being acquired by Fondiaria SAI Italy (2007) and later on by Unipol (2012), there had been a significant cut in spending and the recent consolidation project had already taken several years’ worth of IT budget. Nevertheless, the existing storage solution did not provide the best functionality to perform in a virtualized environment and had to be replaced.
“For us, data is our most important and valuable commodity – it is what we deal in. So we needed a storage solution that was fit for purpose, secure and scalable,” adds Polin. “However, we needed to design and deploy this new solution within a very tight budget.”
Working on weekends to minimize disruption to the business, DDOR deployed one Fujitsu ETERNUS DX440 storage device in its own datacenter and an ETERNUS DX410 in the new disaster recovery facility, located 50km away. The ETERNUS DX400 series is purpose-built for data centers and virtualized environments and offers outstanding scalability in order to serve capacity-intensive environments with tremendous storage density.
“We have the ETERNUS DX400 in each location with optic link between primary and DR location. They support our entire virtual environment and our Oracle databases as well as file servers and the Exchange infrastructure,” continues Polin. “Initially, we also used these devices to replace our old tape backup process. Our old tape system was unreliable and prone to malfunction as well as time consuming. However, we decided we needed a standalone backup separate from the central storage – that’s why we selected the ETERNUS CS800.”
The Fujitsu ETERNUS CS800 backup appliance provides backup to disk with de-duplication and radically reduced costs, through savings in the required storage capacity of up to 95 percent. It combines the broadest scalability and highest performance with leading extensibility in order to support a wide range of IT environments today and in the future.
“ETERNUS is now the core element at the heart of our IT architecture, connecting multiple components from vendors including Sun, VMware, Oracle and Microsoft and storing the precious data securely,” comments Polin. “It is probably the most important device in the whole environment.”
The key advantage offered by ETERNUS DX is its natural compatibility with virtual platforms. The unified ETERNUS SF storage management software enables single point administration and efficient operation. In virtualized IT environments in particular, it perfectly integrates the powerful ETERNUS DX440 with minimal administrative effort. In addition, easy data protection is provided by the ETERNUS CS800. The data protection appliance offers backup to disk with de-duplication and thus radically reduces the backup data footprint. The ETERNUS CS800 can also easily be incorporated into the virtual IT environment to guarantee seamless backup and restore of these environments via Symantec Backup Exec.
“Seventy five percent of our servers in primary and DR site have been virtualized but our old EMC storage simply couldn’t cope with the virtualized environment and wasn’t performing to a high enough standard. Fujitsu has transformed this situation giving us a robust, fast and secure storage solution without costing the earth,” says Polin. “In addition, by signing a five year contract with a set monthly fee, we can manage our costs and minimize the upfront investment.”
The new storage devices are also helping DDOR meet new compliance regulations. Earlier this year, the Serbian Government issued a report outlining activities insurance companies must undertake concerning business continuity and data retention. Thanks to ETERNUS, the company is well placed to meet these new standards without additional investment.
“Compliance wasn’t really on our agenda when we began the project as we are not yet part of the EU, we don’t have quite the same stringent legislation other countries face,” concludes Polin. “However, this latest announcement from the government will introduce more regulation and we’re already ahead of the curve courtesy of Fujitsu.”
Download the DDOR Novi Sad case study (326 KB/A4, 2 pages)