Published On: 5th May 20173.6 min readTags: , , , ,

Business Challenge

Ontex is a multi-national manufacturing company and one of the world’s leading suppliers of disposable personal hygiene products.

At their site in Eeklo in Belgium, they run a fully automated factory with up to 24 production lines operational day and night. Should a system component fail and a robot stop working, it has a huge impact on the business and David Tourny, the sole IT support resource for the factory, found himself being called in at all times of the night and day to fix problems.

David had chosen an initial “green” infrastructure and now he turned his attention to virtualized storage. High on his list of priorities was real-time failover, ease of set-up and low cost.


Ontex deployed SvSAN on two Dell servers in a stretched cluster in different buildings across the site to increase resiliency and virtualized with VMware vSphere 6.0. SvSAN’s ability to enable a stretched cluster to combat against localised flooding, fire or power outages was key in the architecture design.

Why StorMagic?

SvSAN from StorMagic provides Ontex in Eeklo all of the real-time failover capabilities they require at a manageable cost. Currently 20+ virtual machines reside on SvSAN shared storage at this site. Ontex has deployed SvSAN as a cluster, with one server at one end of the building and the second at the other end. Synchronous mirroring writes to both servers providing resilience – in the event of component failure, the system seamlessly switches to the other server allowing David to attend to the failure during his normal working day, confident that his local files – for instance, production and staff scheduling and management – are unaffected.

Technical Configuration

Server Configuration (Per Server)
SvSAN License SvSAN 12TB Gold
Hardware Dell
CPU 2 x Intel E5 8 Core processors
Memory 200GB
Storage Capacity 5TB usable SvSAN storage

Mix of:

5 x 450GB 10K RPM (RAID5) for critical applications and,

5 x 1TB 7.2K RPM (RAID6)

Networking 4 x 10GbE NICs for front-end application traffic

4 x direct connect 10GbE connections for SvSAN mirroring

Hypervisor VMware vSphere 6.0 Essentials Plus Kit
Applications 21 virtual machines running a mix of Windows Server 2008 R2, Server 2012 R2 and Windows 7 operating systems

3D design application

Electronic label printing application

MAAS – manufacturing application

Siemens WinCC SCADA – for robot monitoring and control

Forklift telemetry monitoring – speed, location, etc.

SQLServer DB for in-house applications

Desktop virtualization using Citrix for 30-40 concurrent users

Back office applications: Active directory, DHCP, print server,

management and network monitoring

Data Protection CommVault for backup and recovery

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