- NetApp FAS8040
- NetApp FAS8040 and NetApp FAS2554 HAS
Egloo System AB
Svea EkonomiSwedish financial services company Svea Ekonomi turns to a NetApp® MetroCluster™ configuration to underpin and drive forward business growth and bolster its disaster recovery site. The move has accelerated application performance and provided a more robust storage architecture to enable business expansion.
Svea EkonomiSvea Ekonomi is a financial services company that offers a wide range of services from factoring and invoice management to loans and banking. It began life in 1981 as a debt collection company managing outstanding debts for other companies. However, over time its services evolved, and following on from debt collections, it moved into invoice administration, factoring, savings accounts, loans, and sales financing.
In 1986, the Svea Ekonomi consisted of only eight employees but then launched a sales office, leading to rapid expansion. In 2006, it began offering savings accounts to the public and traditional loans to the public and companies. Today, it has approximately 950 employees, and the revenue for 2015 was about SEK 1800 million (€193 million)
Steady growth has been a
consistent dynamic for Svea
Ekonomi. Today, it engages in
sales financing and has developed
web services that offer a range of
different types of payment solutions.
It also has a back-end system that
“qualifies” new customers when
they inquire about loans, savings
accounts, and other financial
services on the website.
The company also has an IT infrastructure that has evolved considerably. Jörgen Edstrom, CTO, Svea Ekonomi, explains, “We have two data centers: a fully redundant primary data center for production and a secondary data center for backup and disaster recovery. These data centers have grown with the business, but we must always keep ahead of the curve. For instance, our financial services are growing, and we need to ensure guaranteed uptime for our applications as well as meet increasing regulatory compliance demands.”
Svea Ekonomi was using a NetApp storage platform based around NetApp FAS3250. Prior to this, it had been using IBM-branded NetApp and, ahead of that, HP storage. Jörgen adds, “We had a good experience with NetApp, but we wanted to see what opportunities were available to spread the data load and support the business into the future.”
Following consultation with its IT
partner Egloo Systems AB, Svea
Ekonomi opted for a NetApp
MetroCluster system based on
NetApp FAS8040 in its primary
data center and NetApp FAS8040
plus NetApp FAS2554 HAS for
backup in its secondary data center.
Briefly, this configuration provided Svea Ekonomi with efficient storage algorithms to enable deduplication and compression, as well as deliver software functionality such as SnapRestore®, SnapVault®, and Snapshot®. Together, this provided the company with the storage platform it required.
For instance, the hybrid flash, four-node Metro Cluster platform enabled the company to gain the performance it required, while bolstering its disaster recovery data center with rapid and easy-tomanage data transfer.
Specifically, MetroCluster protects against the major causes of downtime such as power, cooling, and network faults, as well as safeguarding against other disasters. It combines array-based clustering with synchronous mirroring to deliver continuous availability and zero data loss. MetroCluster also delivers transparent recovery from failures, reduces administrative overhead and the risk of human error, and requires only a single command for switchover.
Jörgen adds, “We chose the NetApp platform essentially because of its performance, reliability, scalability, and easy management. For instance, we could configure the DR for automatic failover, but we prefer to do it manually because it gives us greater control and allows us to figure out where problems might be before we take the decision to move the production to the secondary data center.
“This is just one small feature, but it illustrates how flexible the NetApp platform is, and, when combined with its robust and reliable performance, it was an easy decision to make.”
Like many financial services organizations, Svea Ekonomi has core systems involved in batch processing. For instance, years ago an Oracle database was built for batch processing and, even today, is still central to company operations. Since implementing the NetApp MetroCluster system, the company has noted significant improvements in its core applications, such as Oracle batch processing.
Jörgen says, “We had an expectation that NetApp would make a difference for application performance, but it has exceeded these expectations. For instance, performance for the Oracle database has increased by two and a half times, which is a lot. It’s made quite a difference for end users and saved us a lot of work on batch processing.”
Svea Ekonomi has dramatically improved the app development process. The company develops all of its applications in house, and the NetApp Snapshot feature has accelerated this process. “The software developers are very happy with Snapshot. It has improved the development process because they can simply and quickly gain access to the data they need. It has made the process much easier and more efficient,” says Jörgen.
During the migration process, the company couldn’t afford downtime, so, with Egloo System AB, it developed a detailed and thorough migration plan. Jörgen says, “Downtime was not an option, but migration from FAS3250 was smooth and easy. We started with VMware, and after that the HP UNIX systems were migrated. Using a NetApp transition tool, we migrated all our systems, including about 50 applications and about 300 application servers, and we didn’t have any downtime at all.”
Technology path and business growth
Ahead of the implementation, Svea Ekonomi mapped out a technology path that dovetailed with planned business growth. By using the NetApp platform, the company was able to meet its DR requirements, increase performance, and provide a storage platform for growth. “One of the reasons we need more space is because, as a business, we are growing rapidly. MetroCluster allows us to grow and expand the business because we can now manage a much bigger load without changing the environment,” adds Jörgen.
Meeting compliance requirements
Financial services organizations are required to meet a wide array of mandatory regulations to make sure they can operate within stipulated requirements. Following the implementation of MetroCluster, the company has essentially strengthened its DR platform and significantly bolstered operations. Jörgen explains, “From the DR point of view, NetApp has made a big difference. We have to do a lot of management around compliance, and now it is much easier. In fact, we can switch the DR site into operational mode within minutes if we want to.”