CKS Systeme (CKS) is a Germany-based IT and security solutions division of Johnson Controls and subsidiary of Tyco Integrated Fire & Security. CKS offers integrated software-based system solutions such as detection and dispatch software and hardware, to fire departments, police stations, airports, rescue and industrial control centers across Germany. The company offers 24×7 service and software availability to ensure superb operational management and efficient emergency response capabilities for its customers.
CKS originally used servers and storage-based physical SAN, and wanted a new technology to modernize its integrated solution consisting of servers, virtualization, CKS software, storage and backup, that is sold to customers. They reviewed physical SAN replacement options but were drawn to the cost savings and simplicity of virtual SANs and decided to implement without external storage in the solution.
CKS chose a virtual SAN solution comprised of HPE servers with VMware vSphere, SvSAN and Veeam for data protection. The combined solution offered better redundancy and higher availability, was easier to manage, and extremely affordable — so CKS can offer its own customers a comprehensive package at a low, competitive price point.
Today, CKS’s customers are using SvSAN for storage virtualization, with several others planning to integrate the proven configuration. At each of these customer sites, there are two HPE servers configured with VMware vSphere hypervisors and SvSAN in a stretch cluster. The servers running SvSAN are located in either different server rooms in a single building, or in two separate buildings, and are managed by vCenter (using StorMagic’s plug-in) and the StorMagic Web GUI. In most of the sites, the SvSAN cluster is the only IT equipment housed at the end user’s control center. Veeam runs as a Virtual Machine on the servers along with the dispatch applications, then backs up data to a separate storage device onsite.
“CKS runs critical dispatch and alarm applications for fire departments, rescue services and police departments, which require high availability, so we, and our customers, rely on continuous uptime in the event of an emergency,” said Marian Kuper, project manager for CKS.
“With SvSAN, we’ve added redundancy which has virtually eliminated downtime, since live updates can be conducted without system interruption. CKS has also reduced administration time and hardware costs by migrating from external physical SANs to a virtualized environment with StorMagic SvSAN.”
CKS chose StorMagic SvSAN for several reasons, including:
- Reduced Hardware Costs – SvSAN on HPE servers was less expensive than CKS’s previous physical SAN, as hardware can be used for both SvSAN and VMware.
- Reduced Administration Time – SvSAN requires less administration time than physical SANs, so IT managers can focus on other priorities.
- Added Redundancy – CKS trusts StorMagic’s high availability for critical applications that would pose high consequences if taken offline, i.e. delayed fire or police emergency response. In contrast, physical SANs must be taken offline to run maintenance operations and routine updates. With SvSAN, downtime has been virtually eliminated.
- Exceptional Support – StorMagic’s unique, proactive support staff has impressed CKS during routine reboots and upgrades as well excellent response when needed for problem resolution.
Server Configuration (Per Server)
||SvSAN 12TB Gold
||HPE with HPE Smart Array P440 Controllers
||Up to 4 CPU sockets with up to 10 cores per CPU
||Up to 196GB
||10GbE between VSAs; sDSL, T1, T2, T3 between the servers and remote witness
||VMware vSphere Essentials Plus, Standard or Enterprise Editions
||Oracle databases, web services, desktop virtualization for 10-50 users