Huawei OceanStor Storage Helps VIVACOM Simplify VIVACOM's Charging Storage System

Challenges

  • The charging system consisted of tens of service systems with their data being stored separately. 
  • Storage devices in the core system were outdated, incapable of fulfilling performance and capacity demands. 
  • An overall DR solution was needed to protect VIVACOM's existing investment. 

Huawei Solution

  • Integrated multiple legacy storage systems and deployed one OceanStor 18800F storage system as an online storage system for the charging system. 
  • Utilized two OceanStor 18800 storage systems as a local backup storage system and a DR storage system respectively. 
  • Leveraged existing virtual gateways to implement local data backup and remote data synchronization for the remote DR data center.

Customer Benefits

  • Over 20% TCO saved compared to the legacy storage systems thanks to central storage and unified management of data
  • Free of data storage bottlenecks since capacity and performance could be improved linearly in line with business needs
  • Virtual gateway investment protected thanks to excellent interoperability
  • Successful solution delivery and efficient daily O&M ensured by Huawei's professional technical support team

Introduction

Founded in 1992, VIVACOM (Bulgarian: Виваком) is the largest telecommunications company in Bulgaria. VIVACOM is leading the market in providing a wide range of services including fixed-line, mobile, Internet access, radio and TV broadcasting, as well as data exchange. Nowadays, VIVACOM's infrastructure network coverage expands to 99.95% of the territory of Bulgaria and serves 99.41% of the Bulgarian population. 

Challenges

The telecom charging system not only supports user charging, but also provides telecom operators with reports of market forecasts and operation analysis, increasing enterprise profit margin and market share while helping enterprises better carry out marketing. To provide users with optimal services and ensure continuous business growth, the charging system that plays an important role in VIVACOM is under great pressure. 

The charging system was deployed in three data centers. Specifically, the core service system was deployed in the Sofia core data center; the charging proxy was deployed in the proxy data center 20 km away from the Sofia core data center; the disaster recovery (DR) center was deployed in the Kaspichan DR data center 500 km apart from the Sofia core data center.  

After years of non-unified IT system construction, the charging system in the Sofia data center was faced with severe information islands. In the construction of VIVACOM's charging system, IT systems constructed by different departments and at different times developed separately, owned independent storage devices, and were deployed in Sofia's two data centers, generating information islands. Information islands led to the following problems: Storage space was difficult to be shared among these devices, resulting in low overall space utilization (less than 50%). Data was hard to be shared and managed due to decentralized storage devices. In addition to information islands, complex expansion and maintenance, as well as high maintenance costs were resulted from diverse device models. Meanwhile, the performance of the legacy storage systems was overwhelmed by ever-growing charging, reporting, analysis, and internal testing needs. 

The capacity and performance of the legacy storage devices deployed in the two data centers were incapable of efficiently dealing with data backup services. The local backup systems were also in urgent need of upgrade. 

The DR system in the Kaspichan DR data center, suffered from the similar issues, also required robust-scalability and high-performance storage devices. 

Under such a circumstance, the integration of charging data and the reduction in legacy storage device quantity became inevitable. Completely relocating data from the legacy storage devices to new ones while minimizing the relocation impact on the operating status of service systems emerged as critical issues for VIVACOM to address. 

Huawei Solution

To perfectly address VIVACOM's storage system reconstruction challenges, Huawei put forward an end-to-end storage solution that covered from data integration, device replacement, to DR solution. According to Huawei's solution, two storage systems were deployed in the Sofia data centers and one in the Kaspichan DR data center. Data centers could use the existing virtual gateways for remote DR. Specifically, one HUAWEI OceanStor 18800F storage system (the 18800F storage system for short) was deployed as the core in the Sofia data center to provide 60 TB of SSD storage resources for the charging system, replacing multiple storage devices scattered in the core service system. One HUAWEI OceanStor 18800 storage system (the 18800 storage system for short) was deployed as the local data backup storage system in the proxy data center to provide a 200 TB resource pool consisting of SSDs, SAS disks, and NL-SAS disks. The 18800 storage system used replication and clone to locally back up core data and served as the primary storage for non-critical services such as testing environments. Another 18800 storage system was employed as the core, replacing multiple storage devices in the Kaspichan DR data center.  

The OceanStor 18800F and 18800 storage systems were ideal for the storage construction of VIVACOM's charging system because they both employed the Scale-out storage architecture, which could accommodate up to 16 controllers and provide 7 PB of capacity, and enabled system throughput capabilities to linearly improve as nodes grew. Smart series software suites installed in these storage systems could provide a flexible and efficient storage resource pool for services. Featuring these preceding features, the OceanStor 18000 series storage systems could not only improve the capacity expansion capability and performance of the charging system, but also enhance data security and interoperability of data storage in the charging system. 
During the solution delivery, Huawei provided VIVACOM with professional services and successfully migrated data in an agreed schedule with negligible impact on daily service running. 

Customer Benefits

In the second half of 2014, Huawei officially delivered one 18800F and two 18800 storage systems to VIVACOM. 
Thanks to Huawei's storage solution, VIVACOM eliminated data islands and simplified management for its charging system, thereby making the charging system adaptable to the future business needs. Huawei's bespoke solution provided to VIVACOM had brought obvious advantages: 
  • Over 20% total cost of ownership (TCO) saved compared to the legacy storage systems thanks to central storage and unified management of data
  • Free of data storage bottlenecks since capacity and performance could be improved linearly in line with business needs
  • Virtual gateway investment protected thanks to excellent interoperability 
  • Successful solution delivery and efficient daily O&M ensured by Huawei's professional technical support team