DataCore has won over IKEA as a major customer for one of the company’s largest global IT projects. DataCore, together with its authorized solution provider Kramer & Crew GmbH in Germany, developed the system and have already begun deploying systems in Europe.

Dell servers
IKEA is setting up systems at branches and inventory stocking locations worldwide. DataCore’s SANmelody disk server software will manage, protect and virtualize IKEA’s data storage. The SANmelody software will transform standard Dell PC servers and their disks into storage networking capable "disk servers," which can then be supported from a single central location in Werne, Germany. SANmelody enables disk capacity to be served and provisioned to a wide variety of different Windows and UNIX systems, including enterprise IBM AIX Clusters.

SANmelody added a new level of data protection to IKEA’s storage. DataCore’s high availability data mirroring and seamless failover technologies enable the data to be served continuously to support business critical applications, especially those in warehousing and logistics. The Swedish furnishing house has also benefited greatly from the performance acceleration that SANmelody delivers and, in some cases, IKEA has witnessed a tenfold increase in performance.

DataCore’s SANmelody was recommended after testing by IKEA’s Global Infrastructure Group. Previously, IKEA used IBM SSA storage technology, which will not be supported into the future – hence, IKEA launched an evaluation to find a new storage system. SANmelody was selected for its flexibility and because of the fact that it outperformed in terms of price-performance the hardware-based solutions that were tested.

"High availability, performance and flexibility were the decisive criteria and factors we used in choosing a storage solution", said Andreas Trockle, technology specialist of IKEA’s Global Infrastructure Group. "After having been convinced of the functionality and reliability of the SANmelody solution through intensive testing and with the installations proceeding very smoothly so far, we are more than satisfied with our decision ... to use DataCore for critical storage operations. The performance gains were a bit unexpected as we saw up to a tenfold factor of acceleration in comparison with the IBM SSA systems, which was a real quantum jump."

IKEA infrastructure
DataCore’s SANmelody Version 2.0 with auto-provisioning (allocation), auto-failover (mirroring, high availability) and snapshot function (backup) was selected as the base solution. It is configured at IKEA to run on redundantly designed standard servers, which are currently the Dell 2850 systems with at least 800 GB capacity on each system. The SANmelody disk servers feed the Windows and IBM AIX clusters on which file, print and communication services are run, as well as many different data bases, including Oracle and Percasis, and several production systems that manage the applications for logistics and warehousing. The storage networking infrastructure itself is based on Fibre Channel technology.

"Flexibility is absolutely essential for many of our clients as they seek to avoid being bound in the future to just one technology or provider," said Rolf Schiffer, Sales Manager of DataCore’s partner Kramer & Crew. "SANmelody is an outstanding solution for IKEA, providing performance, capacity management and data protection functionality, while having the flexibility to accommodate the many particular requirements of each individual branch and worldwide location."

The systems are being pre-configured as disk servers to simplify data migration and ease their implementation across the worldwide IKEA locations. This process now normally takes two to three days to set up systems for specific locations. So far, IKEA has equipped locations in Germany, France, Great Britain, Austria and Belgium with the new DataCore storage system. The next projects in line are being planned for Russia and Dortmund, Germany.

"We are very pleased that we were selected to be a key element of IKEA’s global infrastructure – providing the open virtual solution to manage their storage" said George Teixeira, CEO of DataCore Software. "We offer unbeatable price performance and so we fit beautifully into the IKEA world - delivering affordable SAN solutions for a better living."