German Public Transportation Co. Adopts IBM Software Defined Storage to Tackle Big Data

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IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen AG (SSB), a leading German public transportation company, has turned to IBM Cloud, Software Defined Storage and Flash to improve business application performance and customer response times.

SSB, the principal public transportation organization in the City of Stuttgart, operates a broad network of light rail and buses that serves more than 171 million passengers a year. The greater metropolitan area of the city has grown to 5.3 million, causing SSB’s data volumes to grow at 10 percent annually. As a result, access to corporate data slowed, the performance of its extensive SAP applications waned and the company’s ability to meet service level agreements and maintain its robust online customer services degraded.

Our data challenges were affecting our business,” said Roland Wagner, Team leader for System Technology at SSB. “It was clear our IT issues were not relegated to a single system or component, but the infrastructure. It was simply not tuned for the volumes and expansion we were experiencing and projecting.”

That’s when SSB turned to IBM for a top-to-bottom infrastructure overhaul that included the renewal of the preexisting IBM Power Systems, and adoption of IBM Software Defined Storage, Virtualization and Flash.

The company deployed IBM Power Systems to help consistently manage the ever-growing data loads and increase availability. It also established private clouds based on IBM Power Systems 770 and 730 Express servers running PowerVM to run its SAP ERP applications, including Human Resources and Financials.

SSB saw significant improvements in overall application performance. For example, its Human Resources department was able to reduce wage-processing from six hours to six minutes.

Increasingly, organizations like SSB are realizing the positive impact that a strategic IT infrastructure can make on business results,” said Jamie Thomas, General Manager, Storage and Software Defined Systems, IBM Systems & Technology Group.

To speed data response times for both it SAP applications and its array of online services, SSB adopted the IBM FlashSystem 840 and integrated it with SSB’s existing IBM SAN Volume Controller storage virtualization software. With the integrated solution, known as Software Defined Flash, SSB achieved consistent uptime and the ability to weather peaks and valleys in internal and online business – all while keeping management overhead to a minimum.

Our customers expect high availability around the clock and extremely quick response times,” said SSB’s Wagner. “FlashSystem is so flexible that we can promptly respond to changing performance requirements and, when needed, dynamically accelerate the systems.”


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