NetApp FAS8020 storage (production)
NetApp FAS2240 storage (disaster recovery)
Clustered Data ONTAP
HP blade servers
VMware Storage vMotion
ComingCOMING - Computer Engineering (www.coming.rs) is Serbia’s leading IT specialist for data center infrastructure and system integration. The company was founded in 1991 and is headquartered in Belgrade. More than 40 employees, mostly highly skilled and certified engineers and technicians, serve the ICT needs of a growing customer base in Serbia and beyond. An important pillar of COMING’s business is a flourishing public cloud service offering with customers of various industries and sizes.
Evolve the infrastructure to meet
COMING has always been a rapid adopter of technical innovation to help customers benefit quickly. By partnering with promising vendors, the company offered its customers future-proof solutions with the potential for ongoing innovation. When virtualization paved the way for cloud platforms, COMING seized the opportunity to diversify beyond system integration and entered the service provider market.
The company’s cloud offering, based on NetApp storage, HP servers, and VMware® virtualization, took off in 2009. It evolved well thanks to fast and reliable services for infrastructure and software, including business applications. Customers’ needs and demands vary greatly: Some use the COMING cloud as a resource for hosting their own software-as-a-service offerings; others rely on it for their complete IT needs.
“The storage is a highly critical cloud component and defines its quality. When we saw that the performance and capacity of our NetApp storage was about to reach its maximum, it was time for a change,” says Nebojša Ilić, systems engineer at COMING. As the project lead for the platform renewal, Ilić defined the key points for the new storage:
- Accommodate growth over the next five years.
- Enhance performance and storage quality of service (QoS).
- Integrate with the existing 8Gbit FC SAN.
- Interact seamlessly with VMware virtualization, handling several hundred VMs.
Switch to the latest NetApp
Though COMING is a long-standing NetApp partner in the region and sold many NetApp solutions to end customers, from midsize businesses to enterprises, the company took a close look at the latest product innovations and compared it with other vendors’ solutions. “The NetApp FAS8000 series running clustered Data ONTAP and NetApp Virtual Storage Tier matched our business and technology needs perfectly. Nondisruptive operations, seamless scalability, and great efficiency promised to be of great value,” says Ilić.
COMING selected a FAS8020 system for production and quickly set up a plan to migrate the data from its NetApp FAS2240 storage—with the public cloud services running. Once the new system had become part of the SAN, live migration of the data started in phases using VMware Storage vMotion®. In coordination with moving the data, the team migrated the SAS disk shelves from the old to the new storage. Within 10 days, the migration process was completed without interrupting service.
The FAS8000 series has top controller performance. However, it can be increased when customers leverage the power of hybrid storage and combine hard disk drives with flash technology. Currently COMING has mostly random read-intensive workloads, which makes it very comfortable and effective to use NetApp Flash Cache™ intelligent caching to speed up performance. Frequently accessed data is promoted from the SAS and SATA disks to the flash modules in real time and without moving data or setting policies. This enables a NetApp Virtual Storage Tier, which helps to optimize cost and performance without data classification. COMING also integrated the previous system’s flash drive capacity. This enabled the company to raise the performance of writeintensive workloads at any time.
As soon as the new system was fully functional, the team rebuilt its proven disaster recovery setup with the FAS2240 as the new secondary storage. It replaced an older FAS system that was finally decommissioned. NetApp SnapVault® technology managed data copy and replication to create an initial dataset on the secondary storage. It now protects and replicates data several times a day.
COMING uses NetApp OnCommand® software to monitor and manage storage, performance, and replication. System alerts help the team to take steps proactively and keep the cloud platform on track.
Smart investments pay off
Thanks to NetApp’s modular architecture, COMING enhanced the products’ lifecycles and saved on hardware purchases. The company was able to reuse disk shelves and to turn its previous storage into a viable disaster recovery solution. Beyond protecting technology investments, COMING was also able to continue using its expertise and knowhow to leverage NetApp software.
Adding flash technology to hard disks within a virtual storage tier helped to optimize disk capacity and performance requirements cost-efficiently. “Thanks to Flash Cache we gained five times the performance and saved about five SAS disk shelves. This translates directly into less spending for data center footprint and power,” reports Ilić. Deduplication of the replicated volumes on the secondary storage saves up to 50% of capacity.
Clustered Data ONTAP enables growing and diversifying the cloud business
With the move to clustered Data ONTAP, COMING truly invested in innovation: NetApp’s softwaredefined storage operating system. “NetApp solutions work in any environment, from smaller companies to enterprises and from NAS to SAN. All features and functions come out of one box and can be switched on and off as needed. Clustered Data ONTAP brings all this to the next levels of availability, performance, and efficiency,” says Ilić.
As a cloud service provider, COMING benefits not only from enhanced scalability and nondisruptive operations, but as well from new features. Storage QoS, for example, allows customers to deliver predictable storage performance for the applications in a shared infrastructure environment. This makes it possible to maintain service compliance and to enhance and diversify services— including the option to stretch the offering to a hybrid cloud.
“Growing the business, fulfilling service levels, and keeping an eye on customer demand and profitability— all this requires smart investments in technology. By choosing NetApp solutions once again we spend less on resources and position ourselves very well in the cloud service provider space,” confirms Drago Samardzic, CEO at COMING.
ICT solutions and cloud services
Evolve the current NetApp® infrastructure to meet the scalability and performance needs of a growing public cloud platform.
Switch to the latest NetApp innovations, including the FAS8000 series, the NetApp clustered Data ONTAP® operating system, and flash technology.
- Managed migration with nonstop service for customers
- Protected investments in NetApp technology and knowhow
- Optimized the capacity/ performance ratio
- Accelerated random read response time by a factor of five
- Saved five SAS disk shelves by deploying flash technology
- Reduced the data center footprint
- Built the foundation to diversify the scope of services and attract new cloud customers