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BUHLMANN GRUPPE Achieves Faster Application Performance and a 50% Cost Savings with Combination of DataCore Software Defined Storage and Fusion-io

DataCore Software, the leader in software-defined storage architecture and premier provider of storage virtualization software, announced today that BUHLMANN GRUPPE, a leader in steel piping and fittings, headquartered in Bremen, Germany has implemented a storage management and virtual SAN infrastructure based on DataCore’s SANsymphony-V software. SANsymphony-V manages and optimizes the use of both the conventional spinning disks (i.e. “SAS” drives) and the newly integrated flash memory-based Fusion-io ioDrives through DataCore’s automatic tiering and caching technology. With the new DataCore solution in place, the physical servers, the VMware virtual servers and most importantly the critical applications needed to run the business – including Navision ERP software, Microsoft Exchange, SQL and SharePoint – are now failsafe and run faster.

As the company grew the performance and availability of IT systems were no longer able to keep up and meet the business requirements of BUHLMANN; a new solution was needed.

"What is important for us is that our systems maintain the highest levels of availability and performance at the best price and that we have the portability and flexibility we need to grow,” states Marco Niebur, Director of IT at BUHLMANN GRUPPE. “Our IT landscape is constantly evolving to match the growth of the company, therefore we knew we needed to look for a flexible, vendor-independent solution to meet our storage needs and that is what we found with DataCore. Flexibility, hardware independence and great value for the money made the decision easy to go for the DataCore solution.”

Fusion-io optimized for high-availability and performance with DataCore SANsymphony-V

In combination with the virtualization experts from DataCore’s authorized and trained partner pco (Personal Computer Organization), the new software-defined infrastructure was configured, installed and integrated within two days. SANsymphony-V was installed on two HP Proliant servers, connected to six HP 2700 disk enclosures, which house the 150 SAS disk drives supporting 46 TB of capacity on each site. To increase performance, each server was also equipped with a Fusion-io ioDrive Duo card with 640 GB capacity. The Flash Accelerator memory card at this capacity combined with DataCore doubled the data throughput compared to conventional solid state disks (SSDs).

"In order to implement economically a high availability and high performance system to meet our requirements, we used the Fusion-io cards combined with the powerful features of SANsymphony-V,” explains Mr. Niebur. “High-speed mirroring and auto failover ensure the highest levels of availability. The thin provisioning feature improved our utilization by allowing us to free up previously reserved space so that we can use all our capacity more flexibly and efficiently now. The need for spare capacity and the need to buy more disk space is significantly lower and thus we reduce our costs. By using DataCore’s auto-tiering and adaptive caching, the more expensive, faster flash memory based resources are effectively used across all the disks – so that the amount needed can be considerably smaller and therefore more cost-effective."

DataCore and Fusion-io = Turbo Acceleration for Tier 1 applications

After successfully testing the implementation, the migration of the physical and virtual servers onto the DataCore powered SAN was carried out. A number of physical servers, the Microsoft SQL and Exchange system and other file servers now access the high performance DataCore storage environment. In addition, DataCore now manages, protects and boost the performance for storage serving 70 virtual machines under VMware vSphere that host business critical applications – including the ERP system from Navision, Easy Archive, Easy xBase, Microsoft SharePoint and BA software.

"The response times of our mission-critical Tier 1 applications have improved significantly; performance has been doubled by the use of DataCore and Fusion-io," says Mr. Niebur. "The hardware vendor independence provides storage purchasing flexibility. Other benefits include the higher utilization of disk space, the performance of flash based hardware, as well as faster response times to meet business needs that we experience today – and in the future – combined they save us time and money. Even with these new purchases involved, we have realized saving of 50 percent in costs – compared to a traditional SAN solution."


BUHLMANN GRUPPE is a leading provider of steel tubes, pipes and fittings and has been particularly successful meeting the needs of power plants and plant engineering within the chemical and petrochemical industry, shipbuilding and mechanical engineering projects. The company spans 6 national and 26 international locations and the group employs over 700 people within its headquarters in Bremen, Germany. The central IT has nearly 550 workstations in place to support sales, administration and logistics and is administered form Bremen by a 17 person IT team.

The family-owned company was founded in 1945 by Karl August Buhlmann and his wife Mathilde under the name Bremer Rohr- und Eisenhandel.

About pco – Personal Computer Organization

The pco - Personal Computer Organization GmbH & Co. KG is a full-service provider of comprehensive IT solutions and was founded in Osnabruck in 1984. As an SME-oriented company long-term and trusting relationships with their customers are at the center of all activity for pco. Core competencies are in the areas of networking and security, application delivery and virtualization, office automation and managed infrastructure services and data center services. pco works long term and strategically with leading IT vendors such as Check Point, Cisco, Citrix, DataCore, HP, IBM, Intermec, Microsoft, Motorola and VMware.

About DataCore Software

DataCore is a leader in software-defined storage. The company's storage virtualization software empowers organizations to seamlessly manage and scale their data storage architectures, delivering massive performance gains at a fraction of the cost of solutions offered by legacy storage hardware vendors. Backed by 10,000 customer sites around the world, DataCore¹s adaptive and self-learning and healing technology takes the pain out of manual processes and helps deliver on the promise of the new software defined data center through its hardware agnostic architecture. Visit www.datacore.com http://www.datacore.com or call (877) 780-5111 for more information.

DataCore, the DataCore logo and SANsymphony are trademarks or registered trademarks of DataCore Software Corporation. Other DataCore product or service names or logos referenced herein are trademarks of DataCore Software Corporation. All other products, services and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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