Increasing digitization means that data volumes are skyrocketing for businesses of all shapes and sizes, across all industries. To meet client demand for flexible, scalable cloud data storage and backup services, iTEC Services implemented SUSE Enterprise Storage—a software-defined storage solution that enables the company to provision, manage and expand storage capacity faster, more easily and more cost-effectively than ever before.

Overview

iTEC Services is an IT services provider to mid-sized enterprises in Germany and boasts a comprehensive portfolio of solutions, including: managed infrastructure, cloud, networking, collaboration, data security, device management, accounting outsourcing, and software development services.

The Challenge

iTEC Services has seen many IT trends come and go over the years. Crucially, the company has always been able to deliver on customer demand for the latest and greatest technologies.

Cloud computing is one such trend. The recent rise in popularity of private and hybrid cloud shows that initial concerns about data residency, security and control have eased. Today, a growing number of mid-market enterprises in Germany are looking to take advantage of cloud computing. For iTEC Services, this represents an exciting new business opportunity.

Gerhard Eckerlin, Head of Sales & Marketing at iTEC Services GmbH, explains: “Our business is built on Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service solutions, and uptake has been very good. So much so that we are looking to turn more of our offerings into scalable cloud services.”

Expanding its product portfolio, iTEC Services launched a flexible Backup-as-a-Service (BUaaS) solution in its local cloud. Seeking fast onboarding of new clients, the company also wanted to ensure cost-efficient operations and scalability of its new service.

Wolfgang Eckerlin, Head of Infrastructure at iTEC Services GmbH, elaborates: “Increasing digitization means that all businesses—including iTEC—are faced with growing volumes of data. Many clients have expressed interest in using the cloud to store their data, so we wanted to make this a reality, while preserving full control and transparency for our clients.”

“With SUSE Enterprise Storage underpinning our new BUaaS solution, we can offer a very flexible data storage service at an attractive price per GB that delivers all the benefits of cloud storage from our own data center.”

SUSE Solution

iTEC Services decided to replace its existing Storage Area Network (SAN) with a much more flexible software-defined storage solution, and selected SUSE Enterprise Storage as the  foundation for its rapidly growing BUaaS offering.

SUSE Enterprise Storage brings together open-source software and commodity hardware to provide a highly scalable, reliable and cost-effective software-defined storage solution for block, object and file storage. Organizations can start small and expand to thousands of nodes as needed, seamlessly expanding the cluster as data volumes grow.

Gerhard Eckerlin comments: “We have a long-standing partnership with SUSE, so SUSE Enterprise Storage was the natural choice. We know from experience that SUSE’s support services are second to none. We also appreciate the fact that the local support team speaks our language, which makes communication easier and quicker.”

iTEC Services implemented a 30 TB SUSE Enterprise Storage cluster based on Fujitsu servers. This will serve both as the basis for its new BUaaS offering, in combination with SEP sesam Backup & Recovery software, and also as the company’s own central storage environment supporting all virtual machines, databases and business applications.

Wolfgang Eckerlin notes: “We chose to start off with a relatively small cluster, which we will be able to scale as and when needed. The beauty of a software-defined storage solution such as SUSE Enterprise Storage is that you don’t need to plan years in advance, as is the case before investing in a traditional SAN system. If you want more capacity, all you need to do is add more nodes to the cluster, which can be done without any downtime.”

The Results

With SUSE Enterprise Storage, iTEC Services has a scalable, cost-efficient data storage solution that can cope with ever-increasing volumes of data—both its own and its clients’. Since iTEC Services uses the same system that it sells to clients, the company has plenty of real-world experience using the solution, which it can use to support client deployments, building trust in its new BUaaS offering.

Gerhard Eckerlin remarks: “With SUSE Enterprise Storage underpinning our new BUaaS solution, we can offer a very flexible data storage service at an attractive price per GB that delivers all the benefits of cloud storage from our own data center. This gives clients peace of mind that their data is stored securely, and in compliance with German and European data protection regulations.”

The availability and stability of SUSE Enterprise Storage has impressed iTEC Services. Since storage capacity is pooled in a single logical system, the cluster is highly tolerant to the failure of individual nodes—ensuring consistently high service levels for clients.

Wolfgang Eckerlin concludes: “SUSE Enterprise Storage enables us to meet soaring client demand for cloud services, and we’re excited to see what the future brings.”