Solution: Deploying NVMe-Optimized, Leading-Edge, High-Performance Storage
Suva evaluated different storage architectures from five vendors to understand which solution would best fit its demanding data requirements. Brian Mathis, Team Lead Server & Storage Platform at Suva, explains: “The Hitachi Vantara offering was the clear winner when it came to performance and price. We did an in-depth performance benchmark with our partner In&Out AG, and the cutting-edge, future-proof technology from Hitachi Vantara demonstrated its full potential.”
The team deployed two Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) 5500 solutions as primary storage, as well as Hitachi NAS Platform (HNAS) 4060 cluster systems for file access. Suva also relies on Hitachi VSP G600 for backups, while Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) and HCP S Series ensure long-term archiving of business data. Working with Hitachi Vantara, Suva modernized its data network using Brocade X6-8 Director switches, doubling SAN speed to 32 Gb/s and boosting overall storage performance.
Suva takes advantage of the VSP 5500 optimized enterprise NVMe data platform to store 2 PB of mission-critical business data. “The flexible scale-out architecture allows us to grow the solution as needed,” adds Arn. “Our Hitachi VSP 5500 systems are configured as a cluster across two locations, and we use Hitachi Global-Active Device to mirror our data and maximize reliability. Sophisticated load balancing ensures that we get the full performance at all times.”
To maximize capacity and reduce costs, the company has also activated the platform’s deduplication and compression capabilities, boosting effective storage capacity with a ratio of 1.85:1, approximately 12% higher than expected.
Alongside the new breed of applications, the insurer runs a wide range of workloads on Hitachi Vantara storage. Approximately 200 physical servers with VMware vSphere and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization power 1,400 virtual servers and 1,450 virtual desktops. As its core insurance platform, Suva uses the Adcubum Syrius, a well-known standard insurance core-application in the Swiss market. For customer relationship management and accounting, the company has also implemented SAP CRM and SAP ERP. These business applications connect to large Oracle, PostgreSQL and Microsoft SQL Server database systems, all backed by the Hitachi Vantara storage solution.
“Nowadays, it’s not just our enterprise applications that need high-performance storage,” remarks Mathis. “For example, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, our VMware Horizon VDI platform suddenly became essential to provide flexible workplaces and virtual desktops for our staff. We also need a powerful storage solution to support new services built by our agile development teams. With 120 in-house developers and 30 external consultants, we are moving towards modern, streamlined DevOps processes with containers using Red Hat OpenShift.”