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2009-05-20

Archive and storage specialists Proact have constructed a new storage and backup platform for military vehicle manufacturers BAE Systems Hägglunds in Örnsköldsvik. This new solution will allow their storage to take place considerably more securely and efficiently, while also allowing staff to recreate lost documents with ease.

BAE Systems Hägglunds in Örnsköldsvik are leading manufacturers of military vehicle systems and have enjoyed major export successes with their tracked vehicles and combat vehicles. This company, which is part of the British defence group BAE Systems, employs some 1000 staff at the plant in Örnsköldsvik. Hägglunds introduced a virtualised storage environment early on for management of drawings, design documentation and other business-critical documents, among other things, and many of these documents are subject to stringent confidentiality procedures as defence secrets. Virtualisation had an effect, but backing up still took a long time – almost 24 hours on the file servers – and working in the system was often slow. “Eventually it all went so slowly that our business was being affected,” says Björn Ramqvist, IT engineer at BAE Systems Hägglunds. “At the same time, it needed a lot of manual input from us IT specialists. If any of our engineers managed to delete a document by mistake, we first had to try to identify the server it had been deleted from, then we had to go back to the backup tapes. This took up a vast amount of our time, and we realised that a completely new platform was what we needed.” Björn Ramqvist looked at various options for streamlining storage management as a whole, and eventually he settled for Proact’s solution. This is based on a clustered primary system and a secondary system from NetApp, with deduplication software and snapshot technology. “We have just the same number of servers now – four physical machines and 60 virtual – but we have considerably more capacity and we no longer have to worry about reaching a ceiling. The deduplication technology along means that we have 30-80 per cent more space now. The snapshot technology has allowed us to considerably reduce our backups, and moreover our staff themselves can recover documents which they have managed to delete. This new solution means that everything is running smoothly, while at the same time we are now able to maintain better control over information,” says Björn Ramqvist. The primary storage system has a capacity of 16 terabytes and is mirrored to a secondary system in another location, resulting in superb disaster protection. The company used to have a similar solution, but now completely restoring its systems in the event of a fire or systems failure can take place a lot more quickly.

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