It’s been three years since the heart of Bechtle’s IT infrastructure found a new home on Europe’s largest data centre campus. The migration from the company’s Neckarsulm HQ to the e-shelter premises in Frankfurt was absolutely textbook. No boxes were packed. No vans were loaded. Instead, Bechtle brought in all new equipment loaded with cutting-edge software for a clean cut and fresh start—the first step in realising a vast security concept.
e-shelter is Europe’s leading colocation provider with a substantial promise to boot: maximum security. Within natural limits, of course. Planes can crash into overground data centres. Quakes can hit them underground. When it comes to security, there’s no such thing as 100%. Still, with its TIER 3+ rating, Bechtle’s data centre is exceptionally close. For a number of reasons.
Installed on 500 square metres of space, Bechtle’s entire hardware and software setup is clad with up to four layers of protection. Redundant configurations are housed in steel cages and ensure smooth, non-disruptive failover between servers in the same cage. Without any consequences for the user. A safe 30 kilometres away, a twin site in Rüsselsheim can take on the entire server load if disaster strikes. Key services are running on a so-called stretched cluster—a dual server setup deployed across both data centres.
And to protect its mission-critical assets, Bechtle goes even further than that: in addition to local data backups, they are also secured on physical off-site storage outside the data centre.
If worst comes to worst, power supply, cooling and fire safety are all designed to keep operations running no matter what. Electricity is provided by two independent suppliers and fed through isolated lines. In case of an outage, UPS batteries keep the juice flowing for up to ten minutes— enough time for a set of diesel generators to warm up and pick up the slack. If this is still not enough, unlikely as it may be, contingency plans are in place to keep the lights on.
What’s more, any and all activities on the ground are strictly regulated and monitored. Security staff keeps watch round-the-clock, every day of the year. Nobody gets in unless they have to, including Bechtle’s own employees. In addition to 750 e-shelter surveillance cameras monitoring the premises inside and out, Bechtle has peppered the place with its own cameras to keep a remote eye on the aisles and cages. The data centre is run almost one hundred percent from Neckarsulm. So is it just blinking lights in a hardware desert? Far from it.
“A data centre is very much a life organism”, says Jürgen Messmer, Business Service Manager for Bechtle’s data centre. Every project, every migration, every acquisition leaves a mark on the IT landscape. “The sheer amount of data we handle means there’s always something to do. We have to add servers, manage backups and updates, keep applications running or simply check on system health, for instance.” At least once a week a Bechtle specialist from the 12-strong baseline services team makes the trip from HQ to Frankfurt. The first item on their to-do list: patch it. Running outdated software is an absolute no-go. “With so many obscure threats out there, it is imperative to stay on top of all known vulnerabilities. Patching holes is one thing companies can and must do,” says Jürgen Messmer. Aside from Bechtle’s own employees, third-party suppliers, security staff and cleaners all move about the data centre. “It’s a busy place,” says Mr Messmer.
Flexible scalability was one of the reasons for Bechtle to choose e-shelter. Since the move, the data centre has grown by a good thirty percent, with150 racks and counting. All ready to bring on the future.
With so many obscure threats out there, it is imperative to stay on top of all known vulnerabilities. Patching holes is one thing companies can and must do.
Jürgen Messmer, Business Service Manager Datacenter, Bechtle AG
e-shelter is one of Europe’s leading data centre providers, offering complete solutions for collocating and connecting IT and network systems in a secure, high availability environment. As a member of the NTT Communications Group of companies, e-shelter provides access to a global network of data centres with 400,000 m² of data centre space in 20+ countries. Among e-shelter’s clients are financial services companies, telecoms operators, public agencies, IT service and outsourcing providers as well as cloud service providers.
Through e-shelter, Bechtle has access to one of the world’s largest internet exchange points (DE-CIX), as well as the space, utilities, cooling, staff and access management needed to operate its data centre. Bechtle is in charge of its own hardware and software, as well as ongoing maintenance and monitoring.
Business Service Manager Datacenter
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Published on Nov 18, 2019.