By Primo Bonacina, EMEA Business Development at BCLOUD/Cloudian (mailto:[email protected])
The Casale company
CASALE is a privately owned Swiss Company with headquarters in Lugano (Switzerland) with branch offices in Czech Republic and mobile workers all around the world.
Casale is one of the oldest companies active in the field of synthetic ammonia production. The main strength of Casale lies in the continuous evolution of its technologies, most of which are developed in house by a team of very specialized and experienced people.
In the spirit of continuous evolution and innovation Riccardo Donati, Head of IT at Casale, was tasked to transform his IT department to support a very challenging set of new business requirements:
- Manage all worldwide consulting activities from the headquarters in Lugano;
- Provide employees, suppliers, consultants and clients with access to documents, data and intranet services whether in the office or on the road;
- Deploy clear and simple access controls to protect company intellectual property;
- Improve collaboration and project sharing;
- Offer high availability of infrastructure and services;
- Keep a backup and a mirror copy of all the data;
- Maintain complete integration with the current infrastructure, i.e. a fully virtualized data center (based on VMware), a local area network based on Microsoft software and a number of enterprise applications (SAP ERP, EMC Documentum, CAD and CAE).
Moreover, Riccardo had in his mind the idea of an agile and safe infrastructure, which meant:
- Having a secure data repository, accessible to external users via the Internet;
- Ensuring that the global consulting team has easy, secure and efficient access to corporate data;
- Keeping data backup copies for long periods of time, sometimes up to 5 years.
Cloudian was instrumental to Riccardo in order to achieve his objectives. In fact, Cloudian has been a cloud pioneer in public/private/hybrid cloud storage solutions for enterprises, offering Cloudian HyperStore software, one of the most complete and reliable hybrid cloud storage platforms available. Cloudian satisfies the demanding storage requirements of enterprises engaged in various business use cases, including: backup and store, long term automatic archiving, file sync and share, remote office file storage, big data object storage and enterprise cloud storage.
Using Cloudian HyperStore software, Riccardo could build reliable and scalable object storage-based cloud solutions on industry-standard servers. Cloudian partners with Veeam and many other companies that focus on archiving and backup in order to provide the best possible data center solution.
The project was made possible by BCLOUD, Cloudian’s European partner located near Milan, Italy. BCLOUD supported Casale in all phases of the project, from initial architecture design, to installation, deployment and training.
Casale uses VMware as the primary infrastructure software, Veeam as backup software and the IT systems inside the company are fully virtualized.
Riccardo implemented two storage clusters (rings) with Cloudian HyperStore software:
- one private but accessible via the internet (in yellow in the diagram below) to facilitate the work of external consultants (file share and collaboration storage).
- the other still private but not accessible from the outside world (in blue in the diagram below) to be used by the IT department (VMware Backup and Disaster Recovery),
The IT department cluster receives Virtual Machine Backup copies from Veeam providing long-term archiving (up to 5 years) and provides the ability to perform disaster recovery of data without the need for additional software, since a node (Cloudian Node 5) of the cluster is deployed in the Swisscom hosted remote data center.
To accomplish the entire project, Riccardo used commodity hardware, which resulted in a very low total project cost.
When we asked Riccardo what impressed him the most about the Cloudian solution, he said “Not only was I able to achieve the required business objectives but got an object storage infrastructure that is:
- Fully compatible with Amazon S3 allowing a much wider choice of applications to run on top of it
- Easy and fast to deploy even in a multi-data center environment
- Low cost, thanks to the use of commodity hardware
- Secure and at the same time very flexible and with great usability
- Full support from BCLOUD professional services
Cloudian storage solutions perfectly suited Casale’s demanding requirements. Casale’s future plans include:
- Expand the storage capacity adding more storage servers
- Integrate the collaboration cluster with additional sync-and-share and collaboration tools
- Archive data for longer periods of time