All-in-one Strategy: Computing, Storage & Compliance

Initial Situation

EnBW ODR AG is a long-standing PBS customer that has already been using numerous PBS software solutions since 2010 in addition to some strategic PBS archive add ons such as CFI, the add on for SAP FI, the specific add ons for the energy industry CCU-IS and CISU, and also various tools such as PBS ContentLink, a lean connection between SAP and storage systems. For their initial installation, EnBW ODR decided for NetApp NSeries with SnapLock technology as the storage system, as this was already available at the customer and also supported by PBS ContentLink.

Migration: Consolidation/Compliance/Synergy

Over the years, EnBW ODR deployed three different storage systems: IBM DS8100, IBM DS4000, and NSeries. This is why they decided to migrate to a unified platform, the IBM San Volume Controller with two corresponding V5000 systems. The only catch that came with this decision was the fact that the IBM San Volume Controller, or V5000 respectively, did not have a SnapLock function for saving the defined retention values. By using FileLock software by GRAU DATA, EnBW ODR found a possibility to perform archiving as in the past using the PBS ContentLink server  and to continue to protect and perform queries on data that had already been archived over a number of years.

Project Execution

Previously, the project managers at EnBW ODR had checked with GRAU DATA by phone that a migration of the existing PBS archive as well as preservation of the existing SnapLock deadlines and so on would be able to be performed without any issues using GRAU DATA tools.
EnBW ODR brought on board ComSol, their long-standing consultancy partner in the archiving environment, for the project itself. Consultants Matthias Gesswein and Frank Stoeckel gladly agreed to accompany the project. As the combination of PBS ContentLink and GRAU DATA’s FileLock was something completely unprecedented, EnBW also decided to even involve PBS in the project to be on the safe side. As a result, Ulf Krueger, the developer responsible for PBS ContentLink, also spent a day at the customer site and helped during migration checks.

The migration was split up into the following phases: First of all, the ongoing archiving was stopped so that Frank Stoeckel was able to log and document the statistics of the current archive files on the old content server. Prior to doing this, an update of the PBS ContentLink software was also installed in order to be able to use all current statistics tools. A new PBS ContentLink (Windows 2012) server was constructed in parallel. At GRAU DATA a test file system was created with FileLock on the new PBS ContentLink and migration of a PBS archive of NSeries using GRAU DATA’s own tools was tested. The ComSol consultants checked the test migration using the PBS statistics tools. They did not determine any inconsistencies. Next, the archiving of new data on a connected SAP test system was tested with the new PBS ContentLink server running under GRAU DATA FileLock technology. This also went successfully. The migration of the real PBS archive took place in the next step with a size of 300 gigabytes and 35,000 files with a runtime of about 2-3 hours. The colleagues from ComSol and PBS checked the results together and did not determine any inconsistencies. Each of the archived documents had its time stamp and expiration date copied exactly and all files were fully available. The connection of the old PBS ContentLink server was stopped and the new PBS ContentLink server activated in the SAP system only once extensive checks had taken place in the SAP system.

Result

Franz Weber, project manager at EnBW, liked the fact that the smooth approach chosen ensured a high degree of safety at any time. At any point in time there was the possibility to cancel the migration in the case of errors occurring and to continue working with the former status. The existing PBS ContentLink server  was disconnected from the SAP system and shut down right at the end of the project without data having been deleted or changed at this point in time. The data on the old PBS ContentLink as well as on the server itself was still kept for several weeks to be on the safe side. During this period, no new archiving took place on the new PBS ContentLink to make it possible to return to the former status if necessary in the event of errors occurring later.