Anyone who thinks of Cologne will remember the cathedral and then the Kölsch. The top-fermented, light, hop-flavoured beer is today considered a regional speciality and may only be produced in Cologne and the surrounding area and only served in the so-called “stange”. One of the most traditional breweries for this is the Cölner Hofbräu P. Josef Früh KG. With an annual production of more than 400,000 hectolitres, “FRÜH Kölsch” is one of the most drunk Kölsch brews. Founded in 1904, the head office is located right next to Cologne Cathedral. Brewing continued there until the 1980s. Due to the increasing demand, a new brewery was added in Cologne-Feldkassel. These two locations are still the linchpin of the company‘s success today. In addition to the brewery, several cult pubs and the “Eden Hotel Früh am Dom” with the associated restaurant “Hof 18” next to the traditional brewery are operated. The administration was and is always up to date and so the IT department also decided to adapt the data backup and archiving infrastructure during the conversion of the document management system. Especially with regard to the GDPR rules that have been in force since 2018. FAST LTA and the Silent Brick System were found together with GID GmbH, a system integrator with whom they have been working for a long time. This is a future-proof solution that keeps pace with the increasing data volumes in a modern, fast and growth-proof way.
*Made with love in Cologne
Traditional trendy pubs are finding more and more followers and so Cölner Hofbräu P. Josef Früh KG operates several of them. FRÜH “Em Veedel”, the cult pub in Cologne‘s Südstadt, “Em Golde Kappes” and FRÜH “Em Jan von Werth”, are institutions of the Cologne pub scene. “FRÜH LOUNGE” is an event location above the rooftops of Cologne for events offering a spectacular view of Cologne Cathedral from the 6th floor.
The IT environment of the brewery and gastronomy is based on two computer centres. It is largely virtualized and currently comprises 14 terabytes of data volume at the Cologne-Feldkassel location and 8 TB at the headquarters at the cathedral. Efficient processes and modern billing systems produce a large amount of data every day. IT Manager Julian Kamp and Systemadmins Manager Thomas Coßmann as well as other colleagues are responsible for reliable operation and expansion.
GDPR-compliant archive storage had to be revision- and future-proof
In order to digitalize the processes in the company, it was decided to convert the document management system to Easy DMS. Processes such as invoicing, document entry, HR and administrative data of the brewery are to be combined here. For this purpose, the archive solution had to be converted from the previous tape-based solution to a future-proof and compliant data archiving system. “Our main challenge was to make implementation and operation as simple as possible. We also emphasized the importance of secure long-term archiving, which had to meet the GDPR requirements,” says IT Manager Julian Kamp.
The primary storage is backed up according to classic backup plans. Documents and other data with obligation to keep were saved on tape-based WORM solutions. “In our planning for the new DMS, we came up against limits that would have stood in the way of our future growth,” explains Thomas Coßmann, who is responsible for data backup as head of System Administrators. Since the software side focused on Veeam‘s backup solution, the company, together with the system house GID GmbH in Cologne, investigated which secondary storage systems would best fit the new IT infrastructure. Julian Kamp looks back at the many years of cooperation that have passed since choosing GID as partner for this important project.
The Best of Both Worlds - Disk and Tape
After an analysis of the market, in which mainly WORM tape providers and software solutions were considered, the Silent Brick System of FAST LTA turned out to be the optimal solution. “FAST LTA combines the best of both worlds - disk and tape - with the Silent Bricks and was therefore our first choice for our future data backup”, Julian Kamp and Thomas Coßmann are pleased. Compared to other systems, the Silent Brick System is attractively priced and flexibly scalable. Especially the principle of removable bricks offers a high degree of security. “Thanks to the portability of the bricks, we can use the backups and archives at different locations and also store them offline. Together with the attractive license model and the intelligent functions, the Silent Brick System makes handling the systems very easy,” explains Thomas Coßmann.
Rapid introduction and trouble-free operation
The conversion took place in December 2018 and the final installation was completed shortly before Christmas. “We faced great challenges with the project. We would like to thank the experts at FAST LTA once again for the fact that we were able to do this so well,” praises IT Manager Julian Kamp. The promised features work as planned and flawlessly. Older backups, which are still stored on the tape system, are now gradually being replaced by the Silent Brick System. Thanks to the flexible expandability, the IT managers at Cölner Hofbräu P. Josef Früh KG can look forward to the coming growth in data volumes calmly.
“In the coming years, we will continue to convert our backup and archive systems to the FAST LTA Silent Brick System and expand existing solutions,” says IT Manager Julian Kamp, looking to the future.