Natural gas transports from the cloud

(PresseBox) ( Cologne, )
Trading and transporting natural gas are a round-the-clock business in which precision is vital: Pipeline grid operators require extremely reliable computer systems for this purpose. GRTgaz Deutschland, joint operator of one of the most important import pipelines for Russian natural gas, relies on cloud computing and ERP virtualisation in order to be able to calculate quantities and prices in seconds at any time. The company uses its entire nomination management, which is based on ERP industry solutions, via protected data connections from the high-security data centre at Pironet NDH Datacenter. The ICT service provider is responsible for problem-free operation and supplies the ERP systems with computing power and storage space on demand from its "business cloud". Consequently GRTgaz Deutschland can scale its resource requirement at any time in accordance with current requirements.

Greater availability through virtualisation

"The challenge for operating our ERP system lies on the one hand in the requirements with regard to security and availability. On the other hand we were looking for an approach which permits us flexible access to infrastructure resources," stresses David Conway, Head of Commercial Operations at GRTgaz Deutschland.

The ERP application servers and the associated databases are therefore provided in a virtual environment. "If hardware components fail, the virtual instance is automatically relocated to other servers and continues to operate without interruption. In addition, we regularly mirror the complete system status, which can be restored extremely quickly if necessary," explains Dr. Clemens Plieth, Managing Director of Pironet NDH Datacenter and responsible for the Service Delivery sector.

Hybrid cloud infrastructure

The ERP application obtains CPU, RAM and disk storage dynamically from a cloud environment. The business cloud of Pironet NDH Datacenter is specially tailored to the needs of small to medium-sized enterprises. As part of a hybrid data centre infrastructure, it offers standardised software-as-a-service solutions and, for specific industry applications, access to virtual computing and storage resources from the cloud. "As a result we can also network our customers' individual applications and their in-house developments with our cloud," explains Dr. Plieth.
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