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Fresenius Medical Care – Secure storage with predictable TCO.

Fresenius Medical Care (FME) is the world’s leading provider of products and services for people with renal diseases. The company’s largest research and development site for dialysis machines and other medical equipment is located in Schweinfurt. For this facility, Bechtle designed a new storage infrastructure with a choice of three manufacturers. Following a presentation of available options, FME made the decision to have Bechtle implement a Pure Storage solution, which enables a reliable projection of support costs over a period of six to nine years.

Project details.

  • Dynamic Data Centre
  • Server & Storage
  • Trade / Service
  • Pharmaceutical / Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Pure Storage
  • >1,500 employees

Challenge.

Fresenius Medical Care’s mission is to create a future worth living for chronically and critically ill patients—worldwide and every day. It’s a vision that FME pursues through holistic renal therapy and intensive care along with supporting business activities. Since 1997, the company has been operating its largest development and production site for dialysis machines and other medical equipment in Schweinfurt, which has come to be the workplace of over 1,300 people, a third of which work in R&D. To date, over 800,000 dialysis devices have been manufactured at the facility. May 2021 saw FMC open a new 7,500 m² technology centre at the location, where FMC intends to bring development and manufacturing even closer together to enable even better dialysis therapies for individuals suffering from chronic renal diseases. IT plays a key role in this endeavour, in particular when it comes to securing mission-critical applications and sensitive production data. For this purpose, Fresenius Medical Care had been using two geographically discrete data centres using a combination of virtual and physical server systems, as well as an active and a passive storage unit. For the new technology centre, however, FME wanted to implement two synchronous storage systems clustered together in an active/active configuration. An all-flash system, it should provide transparent failover with dual controllers in each of the data centres to ensure services continue uninterrupted in the event that one controller is down. Fresenius Medical Care also wanted to leverage its existing SAN structure for the new system. Since FME had been working with Bechtle before, using the IT provider’s services to identify suitable proposals in the context of RFPs, the company chose Bechtle to develop a concept for the technological and economical parameters of a new storage infrastructure.


Thanks to Bechtle and Pure, our migration to Pure Storage was a smooth-running success. Pure’s initial calculations in terms of sizing and deduplication targets were not only met, but even improved over time. Bechtle has designed an exceptional storage system complete with a flexible service concept that is tailored to our actual needs and perfectly suited to fulfil our internal requirements for the next six to nine years.

Christian Hellert, Team Lead IT Operations, Fresenius Medical Care Deutschland GmbH


Solution.

Bechtle used performance data collected in the existing data centre to inform a workshop with Fresenius Medical Care in order to determine the requirements that would be placed on the future storage system. The resulting requirements catalogue was then submitted to three hardware manufacturers that were identified as being the most suitable, each of which presented their storage solutions to FME in a series of dedicated workshops. Two of them quickly made the first cut, and their respective solutions were then scrutinised in more detail in Bechtle’s Demo Centre. Eventually, Bechtle prepared a thorough decision paper, recommending a solution by Pure Storage as the best match for FME’s requirements. This ultimately enabled Fresenius Medical Care to make a well-informed decision for Pure Storage, which did indeed tick all the boxes. The solution comprises fully-fledged, cutting-edge storage technology and enables FME to budget support expenses for a duration of up to ten years. An Evergreen Gold storage subscription means Pure Storage will replace the two flash arrays’ controllers deployed in the technology centre every three years. This means that FME will still be operating the latest technology six or even nine years down the road, without the need to purchase new hardware or implement it themselves. The Pure Storage solution also streamlines administration and makes it easier to train Fresenius Medical Care’s IT staff. Plus, the existing SAN infrastructure can now do with significantly fewer ports. Once FME had made the decision for Pure Storage, Bechtle consolidated the system and performed a hot migration with zero downtime for Fresenius Medical Care’s operations. The process even saw the sizing and deduplication ratio improve compared to the original targets based on Pure Storage’s performance measurements.

Business benefits.

It was above all the ability to project support costs over an extended period of time that convinced Fresenius Medical Care of the Pure Storage solution recommended by Bechtle. In addition, the new system ensures the company’s mission-critical applications as well as all of its production data are always safe and quickly recovered in the event of a failure. By switching the primary storage system to an all-flash array, Fresenius Medical Care was also able to optimise its backup procedure.