Republic of Srpska secures storage of critical Tax data
Republic of Srpska secures
storage of critical tax data
HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage reduces costs
and streamlines management for tax authority
Provide better support for existing and future
storage requirements and the implementation
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
• 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
• 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.
Case study | Tax Administration, Republic of Srpska
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).
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.
Case study | Tax Administration, Republic of Srpska
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
“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.
“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.