Julius Blum GmbH, headquartered in Höchst, Austria, is a family business steeped in tradition. It employs some 5,900 people and in the 2012-13 financial year earned revenues of 1.317 billion euros. The company, which specialises in functional furniture fittings, is renowned for its high quality, innovation and sustainability. Julius Blum operates seven factories in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg, with additional production sites in Poland, the USA and Brazil as well as 27 subsidiaries and representative offices.
Julius Blum wanted a long-term data backup strategy tailored to its business requirements to ensure secure, reliable IT infrastructure operation for the company. Improving the security and transparency of data backup processes while also increasing flexibility was critical to business and therefore a top priority. Doing so would require implementing a scalable backup solution able to accommodate projected data growth and meet the requirements of the next four years. Other important aspects of the project included replacing the existing backup infrastructure, which had become outdated, and ensuring that specific data-recovery KPIs were met. In addition, Julius Blum wanted to reduce administrative tasks and simplify monitoring and reporting, which would require integrating external sites into the central solution and connecting mobile clients (notebooks) to the backup process.
For this project, we wanted to work with a vendor-neutral partner to ensure maximum objectivity when making our selection. Bechtle helped us do just that. The care with which our project was implemented and the quality of the final outcome more than justify the somewhat longer duration of the project.
Otto Büchele, Head of Information Systems Basic Services, Julius Blum GmbH
Julius Blum chose CommVault Simpana 10, a software solution to protect, manage and access business data. Based on this, Bechtle built a high-performance, disaster-tolerant backup-to-disk solution with a 10 Gigabit LAN connection. The solution relies on a deduplication storage system mirrored across two media servers at two sites: one on the Julius Blum campus and the other in a building 3 km away. System availability was further reinforced by a virtual management server mirrored in “cold standby”. To ensure performance and redundancy, Bechtle used multiple virtual backup proxies to backup virtual VMware servers. Other systems that were integrated include Hyper-V environments, MS clusters, Linux systems and AIX systems with various database systems such as Oracle, SQL and Lotus Domino. The central storage solution connected to the media servers handles high throughput and large data volumes, with Simpana creating regular snapshots. Client-side deduplication reduces data throughput for LAN-based backups. The notebooks used by Julius Blum’s field service technicians are connected to the central solution via VPN, while the group’s subsidiaries are connected through a local media server. A tape library stores backed up data, freeing up disk space.
“We are now able to meet tough security standards for backups in our headquarters, worldwide offices and even for our mobile users. Simpana made it easy to implement our backup strategy, allowing us to backup completely different classes of data individually,” says Andreas Nussbichler, Head of IT Infrastructure for Julius Blum, explaining the benefits of the company’s solution. The software and hardware chosen were able to fulfil all of Julius Blum’s objectives, enabling a scalable, future-proof and easy-to-use backup solution that incorporates mobile clients as well as the group’s worldwide offices. The system’s high level of performance is on a par with its security. Andreas Hagen, an IT administrator for Julius Blum, is especially pleased with how smoothly the solution was implemented, saying, “Both the excellent organisation of the project as well as the superior technical support we received from Bechtle’s advisors were a big help in achieving our goals.”