To launch a new private-cloud business, DARZ needed an efficient, flexible, secure multi-tenant infrastructure. Using cutting-edge SUSE OpenStack Cloud, SUSE Manager and Crowbar technology, the company launched new IaaS services, which offer high availability and superb performance at an attractive price. The new line of business adds to DARZ's revenues and helps the company position itself in the cloud market.
DARZ operates a large, high-security, eco-friendly data center in the German city of Darmstadt. As a full-service IT provider, the company offers a broad range of managed services, colocation capabilities and consulting to meet its customers' IT needs.
To extend its business and win new contracts, DARZ wanted to create a highly automated platform that would allow it to rapidly set up new cloud-computing landscapes for clients.
Lars Göbel, Director of Sales and IT Services at DARZ, says: "Our idea was that by expanding our portfolio to include private, public and hybrid cloud services, we would be able to become a high-quality cloud provider and attract new business.
"To achieve our goal, we needed an efficient, flexible and secure infrastructure that would be capable of supporting multiple clients simultaneously. In addition, the platform needed to conform to common industry standards, and deliver excellent value for money to enable us to offer our services at an attractive price. We set out to find a solution that could meet all of these requirements."
“We were already known for our extremely secure data center, top-quality services and high security. By offering those advantages for our new cloud services, we have been able to gain additional customers.”
DARZ decided to deploy SUSE OpenStack Cloud, a sophisticated solution that simplifies the management of cloud services by automating tasks such as installation, provisioning of new capacity and maintenance. The underlying OpenStack software controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a data center, managed through a dashboard or via the OpenStack API. It works with popular enterprise and open source technologies, making it ideal for a heterogeneous infrastructure.
In combination with Crowbar, an open source software framework for server provisioning and bare-metal deployment, SUSE OpenStack Cloud provides a streamlined scale-out solution that supports the seamless growth of cloud environments.
For fast and efficient Linux server management, DARZ relies on SUSE Manager. The software helps DARZ to increase system administrator productivity and keep operating costs low.
Today, DARZ operates up to 1,400 virtual machines on SUSE OpenStack Cloud. Because it conforms to open standards, the company can flexibly trade its new IaaS capacity on cloud-broker exchanges as well as providing it directly to clients.
Lars Göbel says: "We had no prior experience of using OpenStack, so DARZ decided to engage the experts at PROFI Engineering Systems, who helped us set up and operate the solution smoothly. Led by Alexander Gostovic, the PROFI team demonstrated an outstanding knowledge of OpenStack and provided us with superb support.
"We selected SUSE because we have worked with them very effectively in the past. The proposed solution offered brilliant value for money compared to the other offerings we evaluated. Once again, SUSE provided us with excellent support to successfully establish our new cloud business."
The new solution is extremely easy to manage, as many routine tasks are automated by SUSE Manager and the open source Crowbar tool.
Lars Göbel says: "Crowbar automates deployments even on bare metal, helping us to scale out our cloud seamlessly as demand grows. It works extremely well with SUSE Manager and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and we also benefit from the interoperability of these SUSE technologies with our hardware stack and other software."
Since the SUSE OpenStack Cloud technology is extremely reliable and can be updated without downtime, DARZ is able to offer excellent availability for its new IaaS services.
Additionally, since the SUSE solution is provided on a pay-as-you-grow licensing model and includes high availability at no extra charge, DARZ can maintain low operating costs and offer attractive prices to customers.
Lars Göbel says: "We were already known for our extremely secure data center, high-quality services and high security. By offering those advantages for our new cloud services, we have been able to gain additional customers. For example, the CERN research organization sometimes runs a lot of instances using our new offering.
"As demand for flexible cloud-based services increases within our target market, we expect to achieve further growth in this part of our business."