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Why the Edeka Rechenzentrum Süd GmbH cooperates with RZservices

From a buying association of the grocers (German: EdK) to a cooperatively organized business association: The expertise of Edeka is unquestioned in the food retail sector. Wherever Edeka is not working by itself, it works with other experts, like the advertising agency Jung von Matt or the charity WWF. And for the operation of its new georedundant TwinCore data centers in the South German area, they chose RZservices. 

The company is one of five subsidiaries of the DATA CENTER GROUP based in Wallmenroth. It offers a service range from availability, security and economic efficiency of data centers to their maintenance and operation. A main argument for the cooperation was the good service. Hence, RZservices was hired to build two new data centers in order to transfer the two existing ones in Southwest Germany and Bavaria. The project was realized by proRZ, the subsidiary which is responsible for consulting, planning and realization of data centers. Shortly after, a georedundant TwinCore datacenter was constructed. The data centers were placed in the districts Heuchelhof and Estenfeld and are not only identical, but also parallel-operated and backup each other in case of a malfunction. 

However, what made RZservices so appealing was the fact that it is the market-leading provider of data center operation as Data Center as a Service (DCaaS) across Germany. "We had several maintenance offers by different service providers, but in order to guarantee a sustainable and economical operation of a data center, it takes so much more than just maintenance. And the RZservices were the only one that also included an operational management system and and emergency management system. Within a short period of time, we were able to accept the offer", says Andreas Menzel, IT division manager of Edeka Rechenzentrum Süd. According to the person in charge, giving away those tasks redeems itself because of many reasons. For one, Edeka neither has to employ all the required personnel resources, nor offer them training or any further education. Also, the deployment of experts is getting harder and harder because the statutory and regulatory standards regarding the IT are changing continuously and pose quite a challenge. At last, RZservices convinced by a comparison of costs which pointed out how expensive an insufficiently operated data center is in relation to the savings potential through a customized operational management system (BfMs). 

Data Center as a Service

The agreed service started before the data centers even started running. RZservices already supported Edeka during the resettlement on the 29th of April and 11th of November this year. "The supreme discipline, the move, happened in only two days, each Frida and Saturday", says Frank Neubauer, business development manager at RZservices and person in charge on behalf of the Data Center Group. While Edeka prepared the hardware and software of their old data centers and installed it on site, the so called "Site Manager" of RZservices was responsible for the IT infrastructure. He took care of an error-free operation of the cooling, energy supply and power supply as well as monitoring and testing the data centers in actual operation. Im the future, he will be the link of communication between RZservices and the IT managers of Edeka. The Site Manager visits both data centers weekly, is responsible for a transfer of knowledge and know-how, looks after the people in charge of the IT and supports them dring operation. 

Next to all of this, the customized operational management system (BfMs) defines further Service-Level-Agreements (SLAs) for strategy, development, implementation and operation. Accordingly, one of the components of the BfMs is the compliance of statutory requirements through respective certifications. Although both data centers were already TÜV approved before the move, there will be a recertification which will focus on operation, organization and emergency management. This will be organized, implemented and, most of all, guaranteed by RZservices. Another important factor of the BfMs is the surveillance of the IT infrastructure. For this RZservices uses the in-house monitoring tool called "DC-MonIToring" from RZproducts. Not only does it assess different installations or single components point by point. It also analyzes all infrastructures comprehensively and permanently. Finally, it visualizes the amount of data and notifies the Site Manager or his back office if needed. All the accumulated information helps the IT managers of Edeka to prevent predictable failures, increasing energy consumption as well as unnecessary costs. 

At last, the BfMs regulates the organization of both operation and failures, stock, configuration and capacity. To enhance the quality and make it measurable, Key Performance Indicators (KPI) were agreed on. Among those are indicators for the operational and failure management which give information about the availability. Menzel:"For us though, the most important KPI was the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). The PUE value was taken down from the start and guaranteed for by RZservices. If there is ever any deviation there will be a contractual penalty. However, we have no reason to believe any SLAs are ever going to be transgressed."


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