Business Challenge

TDK is an electronic components manufacturer leading the world in magnetic technology. TDK has been in business since 1935, when it developed and produced the world’s first ferrite core using a magnetic material called ferrite. Ever since then, TDK has been one of the world’s most recognizable brands in the world of electronic components. Today, their products can be found in smartphones, computers, electrical appliances, industrial equipment and automobiles.

In TDK’s European sales offices there was a need for a new server solution to keep operations running smoothly. More and more, the sales teams depend on IT applications for identifying, tracking and communicating with their customers on a real-time basis. If these systems incur outages or downtime for any reason then business progress can be negatively impacted.

Before StorMagic, the TDK sales offices were using 2-server clusters running Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and mirroring data between the two for high availability. However, if there was ever a component or power failure on one of the servers there would be downtime until the IT team could fix the problem and then manually restart operations on the cluster. This outage was concerning to TDK and the sales teams so they went looking for a new approach to high availability and needed to keep acquisition and management costs to an absolute minimum.

Solution

After researching potential options for the new server configuration, TDK discovered StorMagic SvSAN through their distributor in Munich and selected it because of its simplicity and low cost while delivering the uptime they required. Softsign Technology GmbH acted as the reseller and integrator.

At each sales office, the old HPE servers were replaced with higher specification Dell units, with each office containing its own two server cluster. Each server has a 64GB memory capacity with a disk configuration comprising six 1.2TB 10K 2.5” hard drives in RAID 5 configuration. The clusters each have a maximum of 4 virtual machines running for file and print as well as email, delivered via a Lotus Notes database. The Microsoft virtualization software was replaced with VMware vSphere Standard Edition which, alongside SvSAN, enabled TDK to deliver high availability to each of its offices.

To eliminate the risk of split brain, and in a method unique to SvSAN, all of the clusters, across all of the locations are monitored by one remote witness virtual server that is run in a datacenter in Düsseldorf, Germany. Because of the way StorMagic has architected the remote witness, up to 1,000 sites can be managed by one remote witness server. This keeps costs down because competitive virtual SAN solutions require one remote witness server for each location.

Why StorMagic

StorMagic SvSAN was able to deliver the uptime, simplicity of management and low cost that TDK required for their regional sales offices. Downtime has been virtually eliminated because SvSAN keeps a real-time mirrored copy of all data on both servers that all virtual machines have access to at all times. If any component or server were to fail, there is a very fast, automatic failover to the surviving server and all VMs also automatically migrate to the operational server. This keeps all applications running 24x7. Once the issue is resolved, the fail-back is seamless and operations continue without any manual intervention on the applications. The sales teams don’t even know there was a problem. All of the management is done through the VMware vCenter management console - so there were no new tools for the IT staff to learn.

TDK are delighted with their new configuration. Processes that were previously manual and time consuming have been moved to the background and the risk of data loss has been dramatically reduced. The TDK staff can relax and no longer worry about downtime, knowing SvSAN has provided them with a game-changing boost for productivity.

Technical Configuration

Server Configuration (Per Server)
Hardware Dell
CPU 2 per server, 4 cores per CPU
Memory 64GB per server
Storage 6x 1.2TB 2.5” 10K hard disks (RAID5)
Networking 2GbE direct connection between VSAs on site
10MBit MPLS connection between sites
Hypervisor vSphere Standard Edition
Applications Maximum of 4 VMs running file and print, and email via a Lotus Notes
database
TDK logo

Company Name: TDK Europe
HQ Location: Germany
Type of Business: Manufacturing
Number of locations: 10

“With SvSAN, TDK offices are now running continuously and productivity has significantly increased for salespeople and the IT team that supports them.”

Timo Hauke, IT Director, TDK Europe

Simple

Provides a true 'set and forget' solution for any environment using centralized deployment and management - whether for thousands of sites or just one.

Cost Effective

Eliminates physical SANs by converging compute and storage into a lightweight commodity server footprint thereby dramatically lowering costs.

Flexible

Delivers on today’s performance needs leveraging any CPU and storage type whilst avoiding over-provisioning with the confidence of scaling for tomorrow’s demands.

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