OMP‘s annual data growth amounts to a whopping 40%. At the start of 2019, the international software company decided to implement a new storage and backup environment by Nimble and Cohesity to help them manage this growth. “They didn’t just offer proactive support, but scalability and advanced data protection as well. Xylos helped us set up everything. Thanks to their help, the implementation was finished and ready to use in less than a month”, says Marc Scherens, Director ICT at OMP.
As an expert in supply chain planning solutions, OMP has many international customers. To provide the right professional services and solutions for these customers, the software business has extensive advisory, implementation, development and customer services - and they all have specific data management requirements. One of the most critical factors is data confidentiality. The company’s data amounts to 250 TB, but this number isn’t static: “Every year, our data grows by 40%. To manage this fast growth, we needed a fitting storage and backup solution”, says Marc Scherens, Director ICT at OMP. “But this wasn’t the only factor that made us decide to fully revise our data management procedures.”
“Disaster recovery also played a vital role in this decision”, Marc continues. “Our Wommelgem office holds the main data centre and a separate disaster room which contains all corporate data. The data centre in our US office also plays a key role when it comes to business continuity and disaster recovery. These two important offices grant data access to all our other locations - for security and infrastructural reasons, we don’t store any data there. This is why data transfers need to happen smoothly and securely at all times. When our storage and backup solutions approached the end of their life cycle, it was time for us to revise our storage and backup strategy.”
OMP opted for Nimble as its new storage solution. High scalability was at the top of their priority list and Nimble was happy to oblige. With Nimble, the company can easily process additional data with high performance. When needed, they can even add extra storage space. “With 500 to 600 colleagues using our storage environment simultaneously, this is a very welcome option. We also value Nimble’s reliability highly: their proactive support system sends us incident notifications even before we’ve noticed that something is about to go wrong”, Marc explains. “Nimble’s user-friendliness makes our lives much easier.”
Marc’s words also apply to OMP’s backup solution by Cohesity. The backup and synchronisation processes used to be handled by two separate solutions, which occasionally caused unnecessary data transfers between the data centres in Wommelgem (Belgium) and Atlanta (US). If there’s one thing these offices don’t need, it’s excessive data transfers. When the synchronisation volumes were too large and transfer times grew too long, the transfers would eat up bandwidth between offices. “When our previous backup solution backed up a single document, our synchronisation software automatically synchronised the entire backup. With Cohesity, we no longer have this issue, because they take care of the backup process as well as synchronisation.”
Another useful functionality by Cohesity is deduplication. “Cohesity deduplicates data per system instead of per document. They automatically delete duplicate copies of data, which has saved us 10 times more storage space”, Mark continues. “With 1,000 TB of backup data, we’re talking about 900 TB of storage saved.”
OMP has learned a few lessons from this project. “We’ve noticed that our data-generating users want more storage space. This is where the problem lies: creating data is well and good, but cleaning up data is at least equally important. That’s why we’re planning to further analyse the data retention period and necessity to back up files on the file systems. This is a labour-intensive process, though, and it requires making agreements with all departments and their users need”, Marc explains.
Marc enjoyed collaborating with Xylos. “We used to set up our complete storage and backup solutions by ourselves, but because these implementations take up a lot of valuable time, we chose to entrust this project to a partner. Thanks to their competences, Xylos’ experts had everything up and running in less than a month. Our collaboration was very smooth and Xylos provided excellent follow-up. They also introduced us to HPE InfoSight, a tool that provides insight into the entire storage environment, and they’ve scheduled in-house training to teach our IT staff how they can use the advanced functionalities”, Marc concludes.
“We trusted Xylos. Thanks to their competences, they had the project up and running in less than a month.”