Ultimately, the City of Ypres decided to limit itself to renewing its infrastructure. For the selection process, Ypres focused on three familiar IT partners, one of which was Inetum-Realdolmen. They ended up being the best choice, with a NetApp solution that guarantees continuous availability and optimal data redundancy: MetroCluster IP. NetApp's own ONTAP system manager is used to manage the solution.
Instead of traditional hard disks (HDD), MetroCluster IP relies on an all-flash array (AFA) with flash storage (SSD) only. As the name implies, writing to flash storage goes very fast. Moreover, no power is required for data preservation. "That means power failures have less of an impact," Dieter Bulcke points out. "This is another important advantage in historic buildings such as the Lakenhalle, where such disruptions are not unheard of. While previously manual intervention was required in such cases, we now get an instant failover thanks to the synchronous replication and the NetApp cluster's automatic features. It's fully automated, too. A simple click is also enough to trigger an instant failback and restore normal operations.That offers myself and my colleagues enormous peace of mind."
Intelligent data management solution
Thanks to built-in compression and deduplication techniques, NetApp solutions also provide for highly efficient storage. "NetApp generally works with a 3:1 efficiency rate. In other words, they only have to supply a third of the required capacity in practice," Dieter Bulcke explains. "Based on that expected efficiency, Inetum-Realdolmen and NetApp estimated the required amount of storage."
As the icing on the cake, NetApp guarantees additional drives free of charge if the capacity proves insufficient. "What makes NetApp special is that they're so much more than a storage system supplier," Dieter Bulcke concludes. "NetApp supplies intelligent data management solutions. They made us a promise, then supported that with a guarantee. And they definitely live up to it."
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