Scheugenpflug AG is a world-leading manufacturer of high-quality adhesive, dosing and encapsulation technology with distinct expertise in automation solutions. For over 25 years, their more than 450 employees have developed and produced solutions that are used in the automotive and electronics industries as well as in telecommunications, medical technology and the chemical industry. Besides their headquarters in Neustadt/Donau, they have locations in the US, China and Mexico as well as a worldwide sales and service network. The swift growth of recent years also significantly increased the amount of data requiring backup. Existing tape-based data protection media had to be replaced by fast and reliable technology that could keep pace with continuing growth. Scheugenpflug opted for the Silent Brick Library from FAST LTA since it best met their requirements while also introducing the revision-safe WORM Silent Cubes storage system for long-term archiving.
Scheugenpflug AG’s growth has accelerated considerably in recent years. This meant a rapid increase in data volumes for the IT department, all of which had to be reliably secured. Markus Schmid, the IT Manager responsible for the data backup concept at Scheugenpflug AG, recognized the need to change the existing system in time. Because the WORM solution Silent Cubes from FAST LTA was to be purchased for the revision-safe archiving of project data, the entire backup strategy could be considered at the same time. After all, the time window for the tape backup was almost no longer sufficient and the data backup was also lengthy and error-prone. A backup of LTO tapes was no longer acceptable for data volumes of up to 20 terabytes, and was repeatedly proven unsafe by the detection of several defective tapes. The weekly tape swapping with checking and correcting errors took an average of an hour and a half. As the maintenance contract and the warranty of the tape disks were about to expire, the concept could be thoroughly considered. It was quickly decided not to extend this method due to an expected tripling of data volume to more than 60 TB over the next four years.
Objective: Replacement of tape infrastructure and long-term storage of archive data
So the next step was to look for a viable substitute, ideally a solution that came from a single source. It would also have to intercept the high growth in primary storage (SAN) of nearly static data, which could no longer be regularly stored in the backup set, but still had to remain secure as a share. The long-term storage of large amounts of non-archive data, with a simple expansion of the storage capacity, was therefore another important criterion that any new solution would have to address. “In addition, we wanted to spatially manage data growth for long-term storage because our backup space has limited expansion capabilities,” explains Markus Schmid.
Ultimately won over by FAST’s overall concept and experience in archiving, both systems were ordered at the same time as a package. “The entire backup and archiving system should come from FAST LTA,” Scheugenpflug decided. For Markus Schmid, it was also important that Veeam’s software solution could continue to be used. Since FAST LTA has no issues with this dual usage – all popular software solutions in the backup and restore area are supported natively – the decision was a quick one. Moving forward, the Silent Brick Library would be responsible for data backup and the obsolete tape infrastructure would be rapidly replaced.
Silent Brick Library – Optimal data backup for SMEs
The Silent Brick Library from FAST LTA can be equipped with offline-compatible storage media called Silent Bricks. Silent Bricks are closed, transportable storage containers with twelve hard disks that have a gross storage capacity of 12 or 24 terabytes. The entire system scales elastically and can be equipped with flash or hard disk memory depending on the application. The data’s security is always the priority. Thanks to Erasure Coding, Digital Audit and Disk Mix, data is triple protected from loss. This means that up to four of the 12 hard disks or SSDs in a Silent Brick can fail at the same time and still no data will be lost. The Silent Brick Library separates the infrastructure from the media, as was previously the case with tapes. However, this solution also allows the full benefits of a fast disk and SSD backup.
Backups are not only stored securely and energy-efficiently on the Silent Bricks, but are also available immediately when needed. With its Silent Bricks, FAST LTA combines the advantages of tape and disk in one system. In addition to NAS, Silent Bricks can also be used as a SecureNAS written in linear and structured form. As a VTL (Virtual Tape Library), it simply replaces a physical tape library, but is faster and better. FAST LTA offers the advantages of tape storage while eliminating the disadvantages. “NAS and VTL in one device is an ideal solution for a medium-sized company like us to keep our IT environment cost-effective and compact,” says IT Manager Schmid.
Result: Backup adapted for the future – SAN storage relieved of its archive function
The result of the conversion to the Silent Brick Library has thrilled Scheugenpflug. The tape system has been replaced for the future by the VTL function of the Silent Brick Library. “Expanding backup memory can now be done without difficulty and we always see the current state of the system,” explains a satisfied IT Manager Schmid. Other disk-based Silent Bricks are used as NAS. In this function, they replace the virtual “archive server” located in the SAN, providing 11 TB of free space in the primary storage. Besides this, another crucial factor was that FAST LTA is a manufacturer whose products are “Made in Germany,” an important factor in a sensitive area like data protection. “We were also excited about FAST LTA’s service. Thanks to remote maintenance, we’re immediately alerted whenever any Silent Bricks hard disks have failed and the shipping process is triggered automatically,” says Markus Schmid.
After a few months of use, it became apparent that data backup with the Silent Brick Library was four times faster than before, and that the removal and off-site storage in a separate fire compartment now takes only 10 minutes – “including travel time,” Markus Schmid adds grinning.