The Internet service provider Limitis GmbH has a competent and service-oriented team that supplies over 5,000 companies with its internet solutions every day. The company is located in Merano, Italy. It is focused on providing IT and managed service models for e-mail as well as Microsoft Office 365, online back-up, cloud storage and WLAN support for small companies that do not have their own IT departments. Its main customer base is located in the South Tyrolean area, a flourishing economic region mainly driven by family businesses and small enterprises.With the new system, Limitis wanted to:
- Use the backup plan and the primary system in an active-active mode to ensure the best possible use of the purchasing power available.
- Divide the new system in the data center into two fire compartments with separate power supplies.
- Find a balance between, on the one hand, reliability and scalability as well as speed and performance and, on the other, the price.
- Replace existing data storage capacities and have the option to create additional ones if needed.
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To survive in the competitive market segment and differentiate itself from the larger, international competition, Limitis aimed to be the distributor as well as the owner of their own products which were based on their hardware and IP addresses. ”As an Internet service provider, we want to do as much as possible ourselves so that we can act freely in this niche” reports Markus Gufler, technical director and one of Limitis’ two managing directors. In regards to data storage, the QSAN AegisSAN LX460 storage system had served Limitis well for years but, due to changing requirements, had gradually reached its performance and capacity limits.
The Chosen Solution
After exploring the market, Limitis decided to collaborate with N-TEC. The close cooperation between N-TEC and Open-E also inspired Limitis to take a closer look at Open-E JovianDSS, which was shortlisted a few years earlier. Back then, Limitis eventually opted for a different solution. However, due to their new acquisition, the experts from Limitis had a chance to become reacquainted with Open-E’s software and decided to give it a go. “First of all, a few years later, I was convinced by the functions. And the high availability solution’s price looked attractive for us as well.” - recalls Gufler.
To ensure high availability at two locations over a long distance, Open-E JovianDSS was chosen as the operating system. Open-E JovianDSS Advanced Metro HA Cluster Feature Pack licensing was chosen specifically as it supports a connection of up to 80 kilometers. Limitis used this system in its configuration in two different fire compartments. As for the offsite backup, Limitis first saved the data inside the building on its own system and then stored it asynchronously in a well-protected, secure location about 30 kilometers away. The upstream portion of the storage system consisted of four servers, trimmed for high performance, with powerful processors and RAM. The servers use the Proxmox virtualization solution and unite around 80 virtual machines. Some of the VMs included web servers with 1,000 or more pages while others only ran single projects. In order to know how and what has been set and configured as well as to be able to control the system in the future, the Limitis technicians implemented the entire system themselves with the support of N-TEC. Now, a few months after its implementation, the system has met all the expectations and customers’ satisfaction levels have also risen due to the services offered running smoother than before.
The selected solution consisted of two rapid NAS JSS 224 - 8 servers, each with two 8C Intel Skylake CPUs, 128GB RAM, and six 10 GbE 10GBASE-T ports. The connection was established by two NETGEAR ProSA-FE type XS716T switches. The data is currently on 19 Seagate Nytro SSDs with 1.92 Tbytes of storage capacity each. The system itself is currently at 50 to 60 percent full. As was requested, there was room for improvement as this solution could easily be expanded given that every rapid NAS JSS 224 - 8 server had 24 2.5-inch slots. The built-in SSDs also improved the performance of the system which justified the high surcharge compared to HDDs at the time of purchase. The data storage was located entirely on the boxes from N-TEC. Expansion of the data storage capacity can be done quickly and easily at any time.
"We sleep much better now than with the previous solution. As the system works consistently and quickly, we have significantly fewer support cases than previously when the system was reaching its performance limits."
Markus Gufler, technical director
|High Availability:||Advanced Metro HA Cluster Feature Pack|
|Features:||Advanced Metro HA Cluster Feature Pack|
|Support:||3 years Standard Support|
|Network Configuration:||6x 10 GbE ports 10GBASE-T|