Case Study Aerospace and Secure Archiving: Sensitive Data Flying at High Speed at Cassidian

Precision and velocity are daily business at Cassidian. The same values are what they demand of data storage and thus count on ArchiveManager by GRAU DATA.

Some data is particularly sensitive and valuable. That applies without a doubt to data at Cassidian. The defence and aerospace company measures and analyzes military test flights. To securely collect and archive this data, Cassidian uses the GRAU DATA Archive Manager as well as the included HSM filing system.

“Data from our test flights must not be lost under any circumstances, because the evaluation of flight test data is essential for developing and improving our aerial systems,” says Günter Müller, IT manager of flight testing at Cassidian at the military flight test center in Manching.

Cassidian, former defense division of the EADS and now part of Airbus Defence and Space, is one of the world’s leading provider of defence and security solutions. The company supplies state-of-the-art defensive systems right up to combat planes and drones. In the security sector, Cassidian develops border control systems for customers all over the world, as well as solutions for cyber security and secure communication. Cassidian’s military flight test center is located in Manching in Bavaria, Germany. This is also where all aircrafts for the German armed forces, the Bundeswehr, are developed and tested.

Data can barely be more sensitive and unique than at Cassidian. That is why multiple, absolutely reliable and redundant data storage is the top priority. How can such large amounts of data be managed securely and efficiently? Cassidian counts on GRAU DATA ArchiveManager, an archiving software that can maintain several petabytes of data in a very efficient and secure way.

Besides high scalability and functionality, the immense flexibility of ArchiveManager was an important argument. With this system, processes are made possible that the IT department

had desired for a long time but not been able to implement because of the limitations of the previous system. Find out more about the use of ArchiveManager at Cassidian:

Due to the high demand of flexibility and security of data, Cassidian chose GRAU DATA ArchiveManager in 2011. In conjunction with partner and reseller GID, the ArchiveManager is integrated into the existing storage structure at Cassidian in early 2011.

The program is then being tested in detail with specially programmed routines and regulations. In April of the following year, the new archiving system can already be put online.

A huge advantage of GRAU DATA ArchiveManager is its flexibility when it comes to integrating it into existing IT systems. The Tiered Storage HSM and archiving software was developed for Windows as well as Linux environments. ArchiveManager is highly scalable and can be set from 1 terabyte up to several petabytes. At the same time, it is completely independent from hardware and can be used with systems of all renowned manufacturers for PerformanceDisk, ArchiveDisk or LTO tape archives.

Existing infrastructures, such as the high-end SAN at Cassidian that is based amongst others on FalconStor solutions, the secondary disk system from Transtec or the LTO4 based tape archive can be integrated seamlessly with the GRAU DATA ArchiveManager.

It is crucial for companies with large amounts of data to quickly process and efficiently store these. At Cassidian, around 100 gigabytes of data are generated for every test flight, which has to be evaluated by engineers and used for their further developments. In total, test flight operations at Cassidian in Manching lead to an average of 15 terabytes of uncalibrated raw data every year – without backup storage. With which method are these enormous amounts of data processed in an efficient and secure manner?

Data from test flights are stored in the airplane in shockproof and temperature-proof boxes on Solid State Disks. In a first step, this raw data is copied onto a high-performance SAN at Cassidian. At the same time, a first backup is made on a LTO4 tape.

This is to make sure that even the raw data is stored several times in several locations and cannot be lost. In the next step, the raw data is calibrated and processed on the SAN. Only now is the data of use for the evaluation of the engineers. The edited data is available for roughly two weeks on the high-availability SAN for instant evaluation before it is automatically shifted onto a less performant secondary disk raid and at the same time archived in the tape library by GRAU DATA ArchiveManager. This way, costs for storage of large data quantities that are not frequently used anymore are minimized.

The key functionality for all data movement, copies and storage is provided by the GRAU DATA HSM filing system ArchiveManager. The rules upon which they act, however, are determined by Cassidian. The processes for automated transfers of data to the various storage pools were written and programmed by Cassidian.

Günter Müller explains: “We chose GRAU DATA ArchiveManager, because this system is reliable, efficient and especially customizable for our demands and structures. We can change our processes anytime and are not tied to inflexible structures of classic archiving systems.”

Do you want to find out more about flexible, secure and efficient archiving with ArchiveManager? Read more about the software here or contact us directly for individual advice.