Challenge: Huge volumes of data threatened to overwhelm back-end storage systems, risking disruption to customer services.
Solution: Consolidate storage environment to a single vendor with virtualized, hybrid-flash systems to enable super-fast performance.
Magyar Telekom (a subsidiary of the Deutsche Telekom Group) is Hungary’s largest telecom company. It provides fixed line and mobile communications, broad-band, networking and digital TV services to millions of customers across the country. Headquartered in Budapest, the company employs over 10,000 people.
With T-Mobile and the meteoric rise of smartphones and social media in recent years, the way people communicate is changing rapidly. Barna Bakó, head of Data & OS Center at Magyar Telekom, elaborates: “Customers expect more from us than ever before.
People now use their mobile devices to browse the web, stream music and films, and shop online, as well as to communicate via SMS, instant messages and web-based chat services. This has resulted in an explosion of data in the last 5 to 10 years, with no signs of slowing. We estimate that our data volumes will continue to grow by around 10% each year.”
Faced with ever-increasing volumes of customer data, Magyar Telekom found that its back-end systems were struggling to cope with demand. “We knew that, before long, something had to give,” recalls Bakó. “The storage environment supporting key customer-facing applications, such as billing and CRM [customer relationship management], plus back-end systems, including our mission-critical SAP ERP [enterprise resource management] environment and billing systems, was nearing full capacity. This risked unplanned downtime and disruption to services.”
Hitachi Accelerated Flash
Hitachi Data Mobility
Hitachi Performance Analytics
Hitachi Local Replication
Hitachi Vantara Global Services Solutions and MHM Computer Hungary Ltd
To ensure that the highest quality customer services are always available, Magyar Telekom looked to consolidate and simplify its infrastructure. The company also needed the solution to be capable of accommodating and scaling for future data growth.
In search of a high-capacity, high-performance solution, the company turned to Hitachi Vantara. Bakó recalls: “We have a strong partnership with Hitachi Vantara and knew we could rely on them to accurately evaluate our situation and deliver a solution to the problem. When evaluating offerings, speed and storage virtualization were important considerations, as we wanted an efficient, easy-to-manage system.”
He continues: “Not only did Hitachi Vantara offer the best technical value, but they also offered the best level of support. We know from experience that the local team is very easy to work with and we have always received quick, helpful answers to all our questions and queries in the past.”
After deciding on a one-vendor strategy with Hitachi Vantara, as a first step, Magyar Telekom chose to consolidate its existing heterogeneous storage environment to five Hitachi Unified Storage VM (HUS VM) systems. With 5PB of capacity available on the single, virtualized platform, the company found it was able to meet increased data demands easily and reliably.
Next, Magyar Telekom deployed Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) systems: two VSP G400 hybrid-flash storage systems and four VSP G800 systems. Equipped with flash modules (FMDs), the VSP G400 systems provide ultrafast and predictable performance for the company’s new storage environment.
Bakó comments: “Customers expect their apps to run fast, and internet pages loading at a snail’s pace makes for dissatisfied customers. To boost performance of data-intensive services, a high-speed storage platform is crucial. With Hitachi Accelerated Flash functionality for Hitachi storage, performance is six times faster than on our previous systems. This means that we can keep performance levels high, where, in the past, huge data volumes threatened to slow down systems.”
With the consolidated Hitachi Vantara storage environment, Magyar Telekom has gained a solid foundation for its customer services in phone, broadband, TV and IT. Customers expect 24/7 service and “thanks to the HUS and VSP solutions, we have reduced the risk of unplanned downtime and service disruption,” says Bakó. “We are safe in the knowledge that the Hitachi Vantara storage environment can handle the huge volumes of data thrown at it every day, keeping services running smoothly and customers happy.”
He adds: “As our data volumes continue to grow at an astounding rate, we plan to take advantage of the flash module in-built compression feature to reduce our storage requirements. Having already reduced our storage footprint by 26.5% by moving to the Hitachi Vantara solution, we expect to minimize it even further with inline data compression. Not only will this help keep our storage environment streamlined and efficient, but also it will enable us to operate more cost-effectively.”
With around 90% of the planned systems migrated to the new Hitachi Vantara environment, Magyar Telekom is already reaping the rewards of high performance levels. Bakó comments: “Since migrating the ERP and core billing systems to the Hitachi Vantara solution, around 300-400 business users have benefitted from greatly improved performance levels, enabling them to work more efficiently and productively.”
Bakó concludes: “We are highly confident that the Hitachi Vantara solution will support operations for the coming years, helping us to keep up with growing data volumes and customer demand. As smartphone technology advances, so must our storage systems. With a truly innovative technology partner like Hitachi Vantara, we know we are in good hands.”