Republic of Srpska secures storage of critical Tax data
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Republic of Srpska secures storage of critical Tax data

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  • 1. Case study Republic of Srpska secures storage of critical tax data HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage reduces costs and streamlines management for tax authority Industry Public Sector Objective Provide better support for existing and future storage requirements and the implementation of SAP Approach Issued a public tender, consulted market research and independent technical reviews and had direct discussions with vendors and other IT professionals. Visited an HP Roadshow and other HP events and tested different solutions on the market IT matters • Easier management and remote monitoring support, greater resilience and 99.9 per cent availability • Thin Provisioning and Tiered Storage reduce costs through better use of storage media • Efficient 3PAR StoreServ rack space eliminates the need to lease expensive data centre infrastructure Business matters • Increased capacity and improved performance eliminate storage bottlenecks, giving TARS the performance it needs for operational efficiency • Improved storage will support the vital implementation of SAP business applications • Streamlined IT enables the organisation to provide more efficient tax services for the citizens of Srpska “Storage infrastructure is no longer a bottleneck to us extending existing services and bringing new ones like SAP online. This supports us in providing a more efficient taxation service to the citizens of Srpska.” – Dejan Majkic, chief information officer, ICT Sector, Tax Administration, Republic of Srpska Removing a storage bottleneck The Tax Administration of the Republic of Srpska (TARS) is responsible for the taxation of 1.5 million residents in the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Efficient storage of critical and sensitive data is vitally important so when its old system became a bottleneck, TARS implemented a new HP 3PAR StoreServ 7400 Storage solution.
  • 2. Case study | Tax Administration, Republic of Srpska Challenge Need to eliminate bottlenecks All organisations need to ensure that their critical data is safely stored and readily available. This is particularly important for public bodies and it’s even more critical when they hold personal records and financial information. That’s why efficient data storage is a vital requirement for the Tax Administration of the Republic of Srpska (TARS) which is one of the two independent political divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Part of the Ministry of Finance, TARS has 800 employees who work from 52 locations including headquarters in the capital, Banja Luka, regional centres in six major cities and local offices in every town in Srpska. Among its many duties, it is responsible for the collection of taxes and for the prevention of tax-evasion. It is also the custodian of tax and accounting records and many legally prescribed registers. A team of 28 people run the IT infrastructure which serves 90 per cent of TARS employees at all locations. This included more than 80 virtualised Windows® and Linux servers running on VMware and Microsoft® Hyper-V with firewalls, security appliances and Storage Area Network (SAN). 2 There are seven databases storing critical information including tax returns and payment records, the taxpayer register and various other registers, accounting and administration systems. Production data totals 403GB, but when development, testing and reporting data is added, the total storage requirement is 1TB. The databases are Firebird 2.0, Microsoft SQL 2005 and 2008 and SQL 2012 is soon to be added. “Efficient data storage is extremely important to us but we had problems with our old storage solution,” says Dejan Majkic, chief information officer with the tax authority’s ICT Sector. “The warranty had expired and it had also reached its full capacity. It was becoming a bottleneck in our daily operations, especially a large project to introduce SAP to the organisation over the next four years.” Having decided to seek a new storage solution, TARS issued a public tender. It looked at market research and independent technical reviews and had direct discussions with vendors and other IT professionals. Staff visited an HP Roadshow and other HP events, ran tests, compared different solutions on the market and benefited from the guidance of the local HP channel manager. The wish list was greater capacity, better performance and increased reliability combined with improved redundancy and better vendor support.
  • 3. Case study | Tax Administration, Republic of Srpska Solution Best value for money The eventual choice was an HP 3PAR StoreServ 7400 Storage solution and the server infrastructure was migrated to two new HP ProLiant DL980 servers which are managed with HP Insight Control software. This represented a significant competitive win for the HP sales team because these were the first HP solutions to be implemented by TARS and they currently cover all the organisations IT requirements. It was the result of close co-operation and advice from the local HP team. “With competing vendors, we would have had to reduce the level of equipment, resulting in a system that did not provide anywhere near the benefits delivered by HP. Also, 3PAR StoreServ is backed by unified local support and since we have introduced new HP servers, there was synergy across the hardware stack,” explains Majkic. The 3PAR system includes 40 Solid State Disks (SSD), each with a raw capacity of 900GB and there are plans to expand this with a further eight 100GB SSDs and two cages containing 12 x 2TB data disks. Implementation was successfully carried out by HP and its local partner Lanaco. Seamless migration of the virtual machines was achieved using Veeam Backup and Replication and databases were migrated with backup/restore procedures from old to new SQL clusters and servers. Complete database backups are done every week and there are six daily incremental backups. Virtual machines are backed up once a month and there are plans to create a separate Disaster Recovery site in the near future. High availability is achieved with a VMware High Availability cluster running on the HP DL980 servers and the 3PAR StoreServ SAN with cage failure protection. TARS has an HP Support Plus 24 contract covering all equipment with a four hour response time and next business day repair. Benefits Increased efficiency “The benefits are mainly about lower costs and greater efficiencies,” says Majkic. “The biggest saving was on the rack space used by HP 3PAR StoreServ with 2.5 inch SFF disks. Without this we would have had to lease a completely new cage in the data centre that hosts our systems and the price of the lease would equal half the price of the complete HP system over the three-year warranty period. We were very pleased to be able to avoid that expense. 3
  • 4. Case study | Tax Administration, Republic of Srpska Customer solution at a glance Hardware • HP 3PAR StoreServ 7400 Storage • HP ProLiant DL980 servers Software • HP Insight Control HP services • HP Support Plus 24 “We have achieved further important savings through the 3PAR Thin Provisioning technology coupled with ASIC zero detection which both provide the least possible raw storage usage with no degradation of performance. Also, Tiered Storage enables us to use expensive storage media in the most efficient way, putting low-load VMs on SATA virtual volumes and high-load data on SSD cache tier.” “ o other vendor could N provide the same level of technology and performance at the price offered by HP.” – Dejan Majkic, chief information officer, ICT Sector, Tax Administration, Republic of Srpska TARS also considers its HP ProLiant DL980 servers to be the most efficient virtualisation platform because CPU has never been a bottleneck to expansion, despite supporting a ratio of 90 per cent virtual machines to ten per cent physical. These servers offer expandable RAM and the organisation has great confidence in their resilience. TARS is currently running 100 virtual machines on its two DL980s but forecasts a 20 per cent increase in 12 months and a 50 per cent increase when SAP is fully implemented. “System management is extremely easy and remote monitoring by HP means more peaceful weekends and a good night’s sleep for the IT staff,” concludes Majkic. “HP has become our technology vendor and trusted advisor of choice. It ensures that we now have storage space and performance where needed and we have confidence in the stability, resilience and scalability of the systems which means we can guarantee 99.9 per cent uptime.” Learn more at hp.com/go/storage Sign up for updates hp.com/go/getupdated Share with colleagues Rate this document © Copyright 2013 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein. Microsoft and Windows are U.S. registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. 4AA4-9451EEW, November 2013