Insurance company runs data center with Open-E DSS V7 Cluster

KRAFTFAHRER-SCHUTZ e.V. implements cost-effective and powerful cluster solution with Open-E and VMware

With approx. 520,000 members, KRAFTFAHRER-SCHUTZ e.V. (KS) is the third largest Automobile Association in Germany. It is also a holding company for KS/AUXILIA.

The company’s services cover transportation and legal matters. Members benefit from a variety of insurance services, ranging from support after collision with wild animals, emergency services, reasonably priced legal protection, and safe conduct insurance. A total of 170 employees are operating from the head office in Munich as well as eight regional offices.

Challenges

KRAFTFAHRER-SCHUTZ e.V. operates its own data center which is set up fully redundant in two separate buildings. It consists of clusters based on VMware servers and SAN systems that are used by approx. 50 Windows servers. On these storage servers, all applications for the company’s business operations are running for approx. 150 users. This includes applications such as Exchange server, file server, firewalls / web proxy and a company wiki.

The currently used SAN solution in the data center was reaching end-of-life and had to be replaced. The main requirements were the support of the VMware platform as well as high reliability, capacity and performance

Solution

KRAFTFAHRER-SCHUTZ e.V. chose Open-E Gold Partner EUROstor from Filderstadt, Germany who consulted them regarding a new solution to install on-site. The storage specialist presented a combination of their ES-8700 storage systems together with Open-E Data Storage Software V7 – an ideal solution that offered lower costs and higher performance compared to solutions of larger manufacturers. Also, integration with VMware was no issue due to the VMware Ready certification of Open-E DSS V7.

By integrating the new active-active cluster solution with Open-E DSS V7, the data center is now even more reliable in both fire protection zones. In case of a failure of one cluster node the second node can immediately take over all services – users will not notice anything and can keep working without interruption. Since the cluster has been deployed the whole environment has been stable, and in the meantime a new system has already been purchased for development and testing purposes.

ES-8700 Active / Active Cluster

The new active-active Cluster of KRAFTFAHRER-SCHUTZ e.V. consists of two EUROstor ES-8708 systems as head nodes as well as two ES-8724-2U JBODs and two ES-8724-4U JBODs each. They are connected with two 10Gbit SFP+ via the fire protection zones, and with four 10Gbit RJ45 to VMware. Through the direct connection of the JBODs without daisy chain, the servers provide maximum performance.

Benefits

Harald Seyr, Head of IT / BO at KRAFTFAHRER-SCHUTZ e.V.:

“The solution is very stable, powerful and cost-effective. By focusing on the main requirements – to deploy a fully redundant SAN in our VMware infrastructure – we were able to achieve more performance with lower costs. We can stay hardware-independent and are well-prepared for the future, as we used a common iSCSI standard and avoided solutions of just one manufacturer.”

About KRAFTFAHRER-SCHUTZ e. V.

German KS/AUXILIA is an independent company group that focuses especially on transportation and legal insurance. KRAFTFAHRER-SCHUTZ e.V. (KS) is the holding of this group, and the third largest Automobile Association in Germany with approx. 520,000 members. Together with its subsidiaries AUXILIA Rechtsschutz-Versicherungs-AG (legal protection insurance) and KS Versicherungs-AG (general insurance), the company offers a variety of insurance services – from support after collision with wild animals to an emergency service and reasonably priced legal protection and safe conduct insurance. Due to the exceptional price-performance ratio the corporation already won many consumer tests and surveys. The head office in Munich and eight regional offices consist of approx. 170 employees. The annual revenue of the KS-Group accounts for over 100 billion €.

More on: www.ks-auxilia.de

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