"In addition to a more flexible handling without manufacturer restrictions, the QSAN storage offers a clear price advantage for ANTENNE BAYERN."
ANTENNE BAYERN is the private radio station with the widest reach in Germany. Since 1988 he is successful and nonstop on Air: Germany’s most listened private radio station, ANTENNE BAYERN. The recipe for success: A creative mix of music, service, information and entertainment, tailor-made for the target group from 14 to 49, spiced up with spectacular actions and an always new presentation.
The previous storage systems went end-of-life and end-of-support: Contemporary and safe FC storage systems were wanted. The requirements included, among other things, a trouble-free connection to DataCore appliances, safe operation and reliable customer support.
Antenne Bayern chooses High Availability SAN-storage QSAN XCubeSAN XS5226D with Dual-Ac-tive Controller and 170 TByte usable capacity.
Secure Fibre Channel-Storage without Vendor-Lock
The complete radio program comes out of the PC today. The digital archive has long replaced the record and CD collections of yesteryear – as it is with ANTENNE BAYERN. After the previous FC Storage was no longer maintained by the manufacturer, a new acquisition was inevitable. Network storage requirements are: resilient, scalable, easy to maintain and cost effective. With N-TEC on the safe side it says at ANTENNE BAYERN. For years the as well in Ismaning based storage specialist advises and supplies the IT department of the strongest private radio station Germany. With his customer proximity and high product quality, the company once again again was beating off its competitors with solutions of well-known storage manufacturers.
ANTENNE BAYERN was looking for new Fibre Channel SAN systems. The previous arrays were not only outdated, the manufacturer also stopped the support. „We were therefore forced to procure replacement“, remembers Michael Vogel, Deputy Technical Director of ANTENNE BAYERN. Although the radio station was happy with the previous devices, they hoped for a supplier being closer in support issues.
FC-storage from QSAN‘s 5200-series was chosen, the current flagship of QSAN.
Requirements of a radio station
The program of a radio station runs in 24-hour operation, therefore IT has to be highly available and fail-safe. The desired storage systems should be able to be managed with high performance and relatively little effort. The storage hosts all data from the radio program and the office although the broadcasts are not sent directly from the disk array. The schedule is previously copied to a local desktop drive and will be updated time and again, if there are any changes. Only in an emergency, if the local storage cannot be accessed, the SAN is started in order to maintain the broadcasting operation. The program of a radio station runs in 24-hour operation, therefore IT has to be highly available and fail-safe. The desired storage systems should be able to be managed with high performance and relatively little effort. The storage hosts all data from the radio program and the office although the broadcasts are not sent directly from the disk array. The schedule is previously copied to a local desktop drive and will be updated time and again, if there are any changes.Only in an emergency, if the local storage cannot be accessed, the SAN is started in order to maintain the broadcasting operation.
Technically, it would not be a problem to send from the storage permanently, but would also unnecessarily increase the load on the network.
Selection procedure of FC storage
In a selection process, the IT-department of ANTENNE BAYERN has tested several systems in-house. According to IT manager Vogel, all products were basically okay. However, especially the large storage manufacturers want to score with an extremely wide range of functions, but this also needs to be paid for. QSAN systems also offer a wide range of enterprise functions already included with delivery.
We are working with »SANsymphony« from DataCore Software and therefore do not need this functional offer«, explains Vogel. In addition to technology features, the support is important to Vogel, which is definitely given now. The IT-Manager is familiar with a certain finger-pointing and mutual blaming of suppliers. »I do not need that as a customer«, says Vogel. N-Tec has many years of Datacore expertise and therefore understands both sides. However, should problems ever arise, we certainly will get them better resolved than before. Especially since N-TEC, like us, is based in Ismaning.«
Also paid attention to: »We have confirmed that QSAN does not require any firmware changes and supports normal enterprise disks.« With the previously used SAN storage, HDDs had to be purchased from the manufacturer only.
But now that there are no more available, it finally came to the new acquisition. In addition to a more flexible handling without manufacturer restrictions, the QSAN storage also offers a clear price advantage for ANTENNE BAYERN.
Solution: DataCore-Appliances with QSAN FC-storage
The control unit for the DataCore platform is provided by two standard servers, which are mirrored synchronously across two locations. The headquarter in Ismaning is connected via Dark Fiber with the recovery site at the Munich hosting service provider Spacenet. Each server now runs a QSAN »XS5226D« FC system. Connected to each one is a JBOD expansion unit (QSAN »XCubeDAS XD5324D«).
Both 26-bay-FC-Arrays (XS5226D) provide Dual-Active/ Active-Controller with eight 16Gbit-FC- and two 10GbE-iSCSI-connections. The JBOD-expansion units (XCubeDAS XD5324D) are also equipped with Dual Controller and provide space for 24 SAS-hard disks.
»With the JBODs, the storage capacity can be extended as needed «, says N-TEC’s Managing Director Sven Meyerhofer. » Each site has a gross data volume of around 200 TB, which is made up of a mix of SAS and NLSAS HDDs.« Nearly three-quarters of the drives used are nearline hard disks.
» The QSAN arrays run in RAID 5 mode, resulting in a net capacity of about 170 TB «, explains IT-Manager Vogel. »Our planning ist to cover the storage needs for the next 3 years.« Vogel however describes the data increase exponential.
• Simpler management
• Higher speed
• Constant availability
• Lower costs
• Scale as requirements grow
• No hardware vendor lock