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Tallink Group sails full steam ahead with IBM XIV Storage


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XIV provides a powerful, always-up private storage cloud for Tallink Group’s CRM and other applications. Visit to know about IBM XIV Storage Systems.

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Tallink Group sails full steam ahead with IBM XIV Storage

  1. 1. IBM XIV Storage System series Travel and TransportationCase Study Tallink Group sails full steam ahead with IBM XIV Storage XIV provides a powerful, always-up private storage cloud for the company’s CRM and other applications Tallink Group is the leading provider of transportation services, as well as Overview leisure and business travel in the Baltic Sea region. Carrying approxi- mately nine million passengers each year on seven routes, the group The need has invested more than one billion Euros in new ships over the last Tallink Group needed an easy to deploy, eight years, amassing a fleet of 19 state-of-the-art vessels. Tallink Group easily managed, low cost of ownership storage solution that would ensure high also operates five hotels and offers onboard entertainment and tax-free performance and 24×7 availability for its shopping. business-critical online booking systems. The solution With its business growing rapidly, Tallink Group needed to ensure continued excellence in customer service. Peter Roose, Sales and Deployed two IBM® XIV® Storage Systems in a private cloud serving Marketing Director, explains: “To maintain our competitive edge, we business units in three countries. Used are constantly thinking about what our customers want and need. Our built-in XIV tools for rapid migration customers are moving towards booking at the last minute, so our online and thin provisioning for dramatic capacity savings. reservation system needs to be flexible enough to handle that. Reliability is also critical: even one day of downtime for the booking systems would The benefit be absolutely catastrophic.” Higher performance and lower latency for key business systems; nondisruptive The company’s previous storage system was at the end of its warranty and migration; low administration and cost transparency optimize TCO; beginning to cause performance problems at peak times—typically, when thin provisioning saves up to 50 percent overnight loads to the data warehouses overran their allotted time. With on disk usage. performance and ease of management as its key criteria, Tallink Group evaluated four vendors for its new strategic storage platform. After a three-day proof of concept at the IBM Executive Briefing Center in Montpellier, the ferry company selected the IBM XIV Storage System. Tallink Group deployed two XIV systems—for business continuity and growth. “Our goal in the IT department is to serve the business without any restrictions,” comments Toomas Suurmets, Manager, IT
  2. 2. IBM XIV Storage System series Travel and TransportationCase Study Infrastructure Department. “When we implemented our new online reservation system, data storage requirements began to grow rapidly, and “Hands-on testing proved we also needed more capacity and performance to support our new busi- to us that XIV really ness analytics and CRM systems. With XIV, storage no longer places constraints on business growth—we don’t even think about it anymore! offers the performance We also spend far less time managing storage, because the XIV interface and functionality that is so intuitive.” IBM promised. At pres- Smooth-sailing performance and an ent, we don’t need to administration breeze think about storage per- Says Suurmets: “The hands-on testing proved to us that XIV really offers formance at all, because the performance and functionality that IBM promised.” we are nowhere near the “For our business, real-time processing is critical,” says Suurmets. limits of the XIV. We “For example, more than 1,000 passengers must be checked also spend far less time in a couple of hours before each ship departs. With our schedule, processing peaks occur many times each day. Equally, we have a small managing storage, IT team, so it’s crucial to minimize the administrative workload.” because the XIV interface Tallink Group found that its previous storage system fell short of docu- is so intuitive.” mentation claims of 24,000 IOPS. To ensure adequate performance, the company had limited itself to using only 10 percent of the system’s capac- —Toomas Suurmets, Manager, IT Infrastructure ity. Now, with the XIV system, the Tallink IT team reports consistent Department, Tallink Group performance of 60,000 IOPS, even with their most demanding databases. Powerful private cloud for strategic gains Tallink Group is using XIV storage to optimize performance in their virtualized environment, which currently includes 300 VMware vSphere virtual servers. The XIV arrays act as a private storage cloud for the Tallink Group’s businesses across Estonia, Sweden and Finland, centraliz- ing use of application software for dispersed end users while reducing administration. Business-critical applications on the XIV-VMware cloud include online reservation systems running in an Oracle Real Application Cluster database, Microsoft SQL Server data warehouses, Sybase IQ for business intelligence and Microsoft Exchange Server for email. 2
  3. 3. IBM XIV Storage System series Travel and TransportationCase Study Liivo Liivrand, IT Infrastructure Architect, explains: “We also needed IBM solution components: this storage system upgrade to better serve our internal customers—our partners at agencies. Providing faster response times enables them to do Hardware their job faster.” The private cloud serves this goal. Liivrand notes: “Our ● IBM® XIV® Storage System environment is essentially a big cloud for our internal customers.” XIV Functionality in Use ● Data migration “Thanks to the XIV system, our key applications now have faster ● Snapshots performance and lower latency,” says Liivrand. “Simple administration ● Thin provisioning gives us more time to focus on other issues, and the XIV systems are also highly resilient. If a disk fails, the solution automatically distributes all of its data across the remaining disks within about 30 minutes.” “We use XIV built-in Simplicity and low TCO with built-in tools thin provisioning for The team found the XIV data migration tool very simple to use, about 75 percent of our enabling them to migrate with very little downtime. Liivrand adds: “We use XIV thin provisioning for about 75 percent of our total capacity; total capacity, which has this has reduced our storage requirements by 40 to 50 percent.” reduced our storage requirements by 40 to Tallink Group uses XIV snapshot functionality to provide its software development team with high-speed, nondisruptive copies of production 50 percent.” systems. The XIV replication tools will enable Tallink Group to mirror its production systems at the storage level if it chooses to move away from —Liivo Liivrand, IT Infrastructure Architect, the current database-level replication. Tallink Group Says Suurmets: “The XIV systems come with all software functionality at no extra charge, making our cost calculations very easy. From the TCO IT Environment: point of view, the main benefits are the low administration costs and the Operating Systems transparency of costs over the purchased three-year support period.” ● Microsoft Windows Server Easy scaling for business analytics Databases The XIV systems have already met Tallink Group’s goals of high per- ● Oracle 11g formance and 24×7 availability for its online reservation systems, and will ● Oracle Real Application Clusters scale easily to meet its storage requirements over the next couple of years. ● Microsoft SQL Server data warehouse As the group ramps up its use of business analytics, the XIV systems will Applications also play a key role. ● Online reservations system ● Customer Relationship Management “Data management is an important part of what we do in sales and (CRM) ● Sybase IQ for business intelligence marketing,” says Roose. “To guide our daily business decisions, it’s vital to ● Microsoft Exchange Server have up-to-the-minute data, and to make sure that the information flows continuously. XIV is an extremely important part of making sure that we Virtualization have the data for our CRM applications.” ● VMware vSphere 4.1 update 1 3
  4. 4. For more information Contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit“To guide our daily busi- us at: ness decisions, it’s vital to Additionally, financing solutions from IBM Global Financing can enable have up-to-the-minute effective cash management, protection from technology obsolescence, data, and to make sure improved total cost of ownership and return on investment. Also, our that the information Global Asset Recovery Services help address environmental concerns with new, more energy-efficient solutions. For more information on flows continuously. IBM Global Financing, visit: XIV is an extremely important part of making sure that we have the data for our CRM applications.” —Peter Roose, Sales and Marketing Director, Tallink Group © Copyright IBM Corporation 2011 IBM Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, New York 10589 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America August 2011 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo,, and XIV are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates. Offerings are subject to change, extension or withdrawal without notice. All client examples cited represent how some clients have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. The information in this document is provided “as-is” without any warranty, either expressed or implied. Please Recycle TSC03139-USEN-00