TS51210RH serves as highly reliable storage target for Private Cloud Backup Service

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ITCE Systemhaus GmbH

Customer profile

The ITCE Systemhaus GmbH provides tailormade IT systems, IT support, maintenance and company cloud for SMBs since 1999. Located in Norderstedt near Hamburg, the full-service IT provider and IT system house caters to a growing number of customers.

Personal service and direct contact to their highly qualified staff as well as a high sense of responsibility for the functioning of the IT infrastructure and the data security of their customers form part of ITCE’s company philosophy. ITCE operates their own data center infrastructure in the high-security data center of Stadtwerke Norderstedt near Hamburg.

The challenge

ITCE needs a very reliable network storage solution for their private cloud backup service, which they offer to their customers as part of their managed services. Making the service attractive to customers also in terms of price and the business model economically viable, while at the same time procuring high-capacity network attached storage hardware that is powerful enough to perform numerous backup jobs simultaneously and fast enough to get these done during the night is the main challenge that ITCE faces. In addition to their high requirements regarding the reliability of the storage device, the system house also wants to have peace of mind that in the rare case that problems do occur they can reach the vendor directly and get immediate professional help.

The solution

The customers’ backup data is stored on Buffalo’s TS51210RH, which are located at ITCE’s data center. Currently the system house uses two TeraStation 51210RH with a total of 216 Terabyte storage capacity. The 12-bay rackmount NAS has the ideal mix of traits that ITCE considers as essential to offer a highly reliable backup service, while at the same time assuring the profitability of their managed service business model.

It is the best compromise in terms of price and performance combined with high reliability. In addition the 5 year warranty and Buffalo VIP Service which come with the TeraStation 51210RH provide the desired reassurance that any type of problem with the device will be resolved quickly without additional cost.

ITCE’s Private Cloud Backup Solution

ITCE offers their customers a wide range of managed services, such as data center services including a fully automated private cloud backup. The system house is a certified Veeam Cloud Partner and uses Veeam’s Cloud Connect solution for this purpose. In need of a highly reliable and cost-efficient network storage solution, ITCE was looking for network attached storage (NAS) systems as the backup target in their data center. NAS offer a significant costadvantage compared to SAN storage systems, which in turn offer higher performance.

In this case ITCE has to carefully balance cost, storage capacity, performance and reliability of the storage device in order to make the “Backupas-a-Service” business model viable. The storage device needs to be powerful enough to perform several backup jobs simultaneously in a set amount of time as the Cloud Connect backup is performed during the night in order to not disrupt the customers’ IT operation during the day.

ITCE builds the NAS solution that is used for the local Veeam backup at the customer themselves to make sure the solution is optimized for this special purpose. This NAS is usually a 4-bay rackmount system, with 4 to 20 TB capacity, configured in RAID 5, with Windows 10 as operation system and Veeam Backup Software installed. The backup software accesses the hypervisor, which creates and runs virtual machines (VMs) and saves a data copy of these on the local NAS.

In a second step the Veeam Cloud Connect software transfers the data from the local NAS via a gateway and a data mover server to the TeraStation 51210RH. This way ITCE’s customers have a local backup and a second backup stored in a German high-security data center. The whole process runs automated without affecting the customer’s daily IT operations. The customer does not need to buy the Veeam Cloud Backup software license and only pays a fee per virtual machine that is backed up (not for the actual storage space they need). Other benefits for ITCE’s customers are a very short restore time in case of a failure of the local Hypervisor server, because the backup server is not effected by the server crash. Currently ITCE provides about 60 customers with their private cloud backup service, backing up 140 virtual machines (VM) every day. Fourteen VMs can be backed up at the same time onto the TeraStation 51210RH without significant performance loss.

Benefits for the company

ITCE chose Buffalo’s TeraStation 51210RH first and foremost for the high reliability of this solution. Obviously it is extremely important when offering a private cloud backup solution to customers that the storage solution runs without problems and that – in the rare case of a failure – the system house gets direct and quick support to get the system running again. The TeraStation 51210RH comes with a 5 year warranty and VIP Service, including a 24h hard drive replacement service. In case of any problems it is very important for the system house to be able to connect to a local support team and get instant assistance – service that Buffalo provides to all TeraStation customers. According to ITCE’s internal policies, storage devices are exchanged after 5 years – during these 5 years they need to be able to trust the device to run without issues. The 5 year warranty gives them this peace of mind. ITCE chose the Buffalo solution also due to the very good experience that they have had with Buffalo NAS in the past. Already 15 years ago, the system house purchased the first Buffalo NAS. Using some of these for up to 7 years without any major issues, they are deeply impressed with the reliability and have great trust in Buffalo technology. Due to the growing popularity of their cloud backup service among their customers, ITCE is already planning to purchase a third TeraStation 51210RH with 144 TB capacity. ITCE also looked at NAS solutions of competitors, but Buffalo’s support, warranty and VIP service convinced them once and again. On top, the price-performance ratio works with ITCE’s business model of offering unlimited storage space per virtual machine backed up.

"Buffalo’s service and support are unrivalled. We have been using Buffalo NAS for many years now and absolutely trust in the reliability of their products as well as of their technical support staff."

Fritjof Eichhöfer, Shareholder and Managing Director, ITCE

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