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Pironet NDH is renewing the IT infrastructure for Versiko AG

Green storage: Better performance, 60 per cent lower energy consumption

(PresseBox) (Cologne, ) Sustainable financial advice using green IT: Versiko AG, which has been advising customers with regard to ecologically beneficial financial investment for more than 30 years, are also paying attention to the sustainability of their own information technology. When their own storage infrastructure reached capacity, the financial services company from Hilden granted Pironet NDH the contract to optimise their data storage base. Even though the new systems offer higher data throughput and computing power, Pironet NDH was nevertheless able to reduce the electricity consumption of the high-performance platform by some 60 per cent. The infrastructure also reaches a new level of performance in terms of availability: maintenance work can now be carried out without any interruption whatever. Even if the main data centre suffers a failure, Versiko can rapidly switch to a system at an alternative location.

"The technology for storage systems and data centres is developing so quickly that it can be as little as three or four years before complete modernisation of an infrastructure can pay off, not only in terms of cost but also on account of ecological aspects," explains Katharina Gülpen, managing director of Pironet NDH Enterprise Solutions.

Faster network for storage infrastructure

The core of the modernised infrastructure is formed by a fast Ethernet network based on the "Cisco Nexus" family and capable of 10 gigabits per second, much higher data rates than were possible with the 1-gigabit technology used hitherto. Versiko has also switched its servers to Cisco from Hewlett Packard - a decision that the financial services people have not regretted in the least. "The interaction between the network, the servers and the storage is working superbly and it was only days before our users were offering praise for the markedly faster response times," says Melanie Willms, head of the IT department at Versiko.

Climate change at the data centre

Complete virtualisation of its IT infrastructure has meant the financial advisers were also able to reduce the amount of server hardware and wiring in their own data centre. Using less hardware also brought down the electricity consumption. In addition, the much simplified wiring was well received, too. "Without the build up of heat we had before, there's a lot less cooling to be done on our high-performance systems. Overall, the modernisation has meant we can make savings of more than one in every two kilowatt hours at the data centre," says Versiko AG's chairman of the board, Alfred Platow. "That is an aspect that has played a decisive role for us as an ecologically focussed company."

The extent of the savings even came as a surprise to the IT personnel not long after the change. "We walked into the server room and were puzzled as to why it was so unusually cool. The air conditioning had been working overnight at its customary level, but the new systems were hardly generating heat any more, meaning that the improvements were even physically tangible," recalls Melanie Willms.

Certainty thanks to storage virtualization

Versiko is blazing new trails in the area of storage, too. The sustainable finance pioneers are now using NetApp's vFiler technology in the productive system. This involves distributing the storage system across several independent units called vFilers, which can be allocated to individual applications, internal departments or customers. The benefit is that should a filer fail or need maintenance, the data can be moved to other storage units, meaning that there is no longer any need to shut down a running system.

For backing up data, Versiko has replaced its tapes with a disc-based, virtualised data back-up system provided by NetApp. The service provider operates this from an external data centre some five kilometres away in Düsseldorf. "This means we'll be on the safe side in case the computers at our own centre in Hilden all give up the ghost at once," according to Willms. "If the worst comes to the worst, we can still get our systems back up and running in no time at all."

CANCOM Pironet AG & Co. KG

Pironet NDH is one of the leading German providers of Cloud Computing. Its focus ranges from providing corporate software over the internet right through to complete desktop solutions and business-critical applications from SAP and Microsoft.

The Business Cloud® from Pironet NDH enables companies to utilise all options for introducing and using state-of-the-art Cloud Computing solutions. Pironet NDH provides IT resources and standard business applications as turnkey Cloud services with flexible costs (Software as a Service) from its highly-secure German data centres. In addition, Pironet NDH supports its customers in planning, integrating and operating local Private Cloud and IT solutions at their own corporate locations.

The Business Cloud® is based on a set of building blocks from tried and tested Cloud technologies, service components and network and infrastructure services. On this basis PIRONET NDH implements holistic and tailored customer solutions.

The service offering, the IT infrastructure and also the internal organisation are all certified according to strict, internationally recognised guidelines, including, among others, DIN ISO/IEC 27001.
For customers this certification ensures the operative excellence of Pironet NDH in all processes, as well as compliance with stringent standards with respect to both technical and security aspects.

Customers include numerous SMBs as well as international corporations. More information is available at: