Bavaria’s Donau-Ries district office in the state’s northernmost administrative region of Schwaben represents some 130,000 people managing all areas of public administration. The agency caters to the district’s residents as well as its other administrative bodies.
The Donau-Ries district office provides citizens with modern and convenient online services including the ability to make appointments online to register a vehicle or apply for a driver’s licence, an overview of related waiting times, and an online form to request personalised licence plates. In addition, citizens can use the digital service portal to de-register and re register their vehicles. All services are managed by the district office’s own employees, who also handle daily e-mail correspondence with residents and other public agencies, while juggling a variety of administrative tasks using specific software applications. With a need to ensure round-the-clock availability of these tools, the district office was faced with the manufacturer about to cease support for the existing server and storage infrastructure, which also no longer met the requirements for performance and scalability.
The Donau-Ries district office therefore began looking for an IT solution that offered high availability, performance and scalability with a modern and reliable storage area network (SAN) infrastructure with synchronous mirroring. This meant nothing short of replacing the agency’s entire existing server and storage architecture.
"When the manufacturer ceased to support our storage area network, we were looking for a homogeneous and scalable solution. The HPE infrastructure we chose meets our requirements. The project’s implementation by Bechtle was excellent."
Markus Hügele, Head of ICT, Donau-Ries district office
In a call for bids, the Donau-Ries district office was looking for a partner who could deliver on these requirements and had proven experience of doing so. With Bechtle, the district office found a suitable IT service provider who has the right expertise and a track record of reference projects to boot. Consequently, Bechtle was awarded the contract to replace the administration’s complete server and SAN infrastructure, manage the installation of the new equipment, and support its staff during the migration. Bechtle managed the overall project, created all related documentation, and helped users navigate the new systems. Thanks to preliminary, comprehensive workshops and Bechtle’s competent support, the project was completed according to plan and within schedule.
The new SAN infrastructure design is the result of expert workshops conducted by the Donau-Ries district office’s ICT department together with a neutral consultancy firm. After compiling all existing requirements, the agency chose a homogeneous solution composed of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) systems, namely HPE ProLiant DL380 Gen10 servers and a dedicated HPE DL380 G9 backup server. 16 Gb fibre channel controllers provide a redundant interface between all servers and the new HPE fibre channel infrastructure. 3PAR StorServ 8000 Storage offers a flash-optimised architecture for unified storage across block and file protocols, application-controlled data backups and simplified fabric zoning, as well as easy SAN diagnostics, while HPE StoreVirtual Storage delivers affordable capacity for the virtualised infrastructure at the Donau-Ries district office. A VMware environment based on VMware ESX servers converts it all into a scalable, shared storage array without the need for dedicated storage.
Bechtle conducted a burn-in test to confirm that the system as well as its individual components and software applications deliver reliable performance under load. Bechtle then went on to configure the new SAN infrastructure within the agency’s IT environment, including racking, cabling, and firmware settings, before eventually making it accessible from all user workstations. To safeguard ongoing operations, the district office opted for HPE Proactive Care Services 24x7 to cover its storage systems, as well as HPE Services NBD for servers and switches.
In choosing a unified HPE environment, the Donau-Ries district office opted for a well-established and renowned manufacturer for its new server and storage solution. The new Storage Area Network implemented by Bechtle thus uses state-of-the-art technology delivering the high availability required by the agency. IT operations are more stable, unified, and in line with its existing SLAs and KPIs. Enhanced data security and quality standards safeguard the employees’ work, while the HPE ProLiant DL380 Gen10 servers mean storage capacities are more readily available.