alfer® aluminium GmbH, located in Wutöschingen-Horheim, Germany, is one of Europe’s leading producers of profiles, bars and systems made of aluminium, steel, brass and plastic for DIY and professional use. Founded in 1973, the company began successfully expanding its business across Europe in 2004. Most of its 6,000 products are produced on state-of-the-art, partially automated equipment. As a leading global supplier of profile systems for the DIY sector, alfer® constantly strives to improve its processes.
alfer® needed a new network storage system to boost IT efficiency and protect data, both essential criteria for a TÜV-certified global leader. Faced with increasing amounts of data, alfer® wanted its new storage system to back them up quickly at the same high level of performance as before, while keeping them highly available. A further priority was implementing a backup and restore solution that would be as quick and easy to administrate as the overall network storage.
Our new, future-proof NetApp storage solution provides access to business data at the speeds our IT requires, while also keeping data safe and lowering our costs considerably. Bechtle understood and delivered exactly what we needed.
Martin Blank, IT Management Assistant, and Andreas Rammelmeier, IT Administrator, alfer® aluminium GmbH
Bechtle installed a NetApp FAS3220 MetroCluster in two separate data centres on alfer®’s premises. Combining reliable, high-performance hardware with the world’s most popular storage architecture—the NetApp Data ONTAP operating system—NetApp FAS storage enables seamless scaling of storage infrastructure to support demanding business applications and requirements. The MetroCluster system combines array-based clustering with synchronous mirroring across multiple sites and provides continuous availability at low cost. It also enables uninterrupted operation to avoid both planned and unplanned downtime. alfer®’s NetApp FAS3220 MetroCluster comprises a total of 72 hard drives with 450 GB each, scalable up to 480 hard drives, or 2 PB. Another module, equipped with twenty-four 1 TB SATA drives, is used for archiving. The NetApp Complete Bundle for Data ONTAP offers backups, outstanding scalability, thin provisioning, deduplication to remove data duplicates, thin clones, snapshots for quick, point-in-time copies of file systems, backup and disaster recovery, as well as FlexCache and FlexShare for even better performance on a unified platform.
The NetApp FAS3220’s high-performance processor and storage architecture offer flexible data infrastructure that adapts easily, as needed, to the performance requirements of the applications used. Automated Virtual Storage Tier flash technologies provide fast access with low latency. As a result, fewer drives are required for the same storage performance, which saves money and ensures faster capacity provisioning. Business processes now benefit from even better, more powerful support. In addition, alfer®’s IT department no longer has as many manual tasks to perform, which has boosted employee satisfaction and contributed to widespread acceptance of the storage solution within the IT department. Another factor influencing this positive reception was the extensive system training provided by Bechtle. Through the various automatic options offered by NetApp data storage, alfer® was able to significantly increase data protection and minimise downtime.