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Case Study: Expert SE



  • Data volumes grow annually by 20 percent
  • Complex administration of the existing data management solution
  • No satisfactory integration into the existing NetApp environment
  • Administrators required sound knowledge of different solutions and manufacturers, which incurred high costs
  • Removal of tape backup


  • Time required for full backup drastically reduced from 30 hours to just a few hours, in some instances even minutes
  • Simple and convenient administration of the entire IT architecture
  • Data backup and recovery possible without comprehensive knowledge of the entire environment
  • Resources freed up for important strategic tasks


Commvault software data management including backup and recovery of SQL databases, virtual machines and NAS data; deduplication, replication and snapshot management


Industry: Electronics retailer cooperative

Headquarters: Langenhagen, Germany

Case Study: Expert SE

Expert SE, with its headquarters in Langenhagen (Germany), is a retail cooperative for consumer electronics, information technology, telecommunication, entertainment and household appliances, which currently comprises 194 partners and members with a total of 432 locations throughout Germany.

In more than 50 years of company history, Expert has acquired a strong position in the market and today is the second largest electronics retailer in Germany. For many years, the Expert group has been recording financial performance above sector average. In the 2016/2017 financial year, the retail cooperative generated intercompany sales at industrial selling prices without VAT of 2.12 billion euros.

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Expert operates a metro cluster with storage technology from NetApp including 225 virtual machines from VMware and two SQL database servers. At both metro cluster sites the data is redundant, thus guaranteeing maximum reliability. The cooperative's own IT department focuses on internal IT services. A central task is to provide an efficient development environment for the cooperative's own 25 developers, including backing up and recovering data.

Commvault Software: Enterprise Cloud Backup and Archive, Simplified

Commvault software delivers a comprehensive approach to storing, managing and protecting both structured and unstructured data.

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In order to organize all data handling in a more agile, flexible, simple and quick way, the IT officers sought a new, highly efficient data management solution, which should also speed up the backup processes. "A comprehensive data backup for us used to last about 30 hours," Oliver Rebock, Head of IT at Expert recalls. "We therefore placed stringent demands on the new selection process: It should offer a comprehensive 360-degree view of the data and therefore make it possible to back-up quickly and efficiently. In addition, it would have to support highly available and fail-safe data retention and be scalable enough in order to adapt quickly and flexibly to changed parameters."

The greatest weakness of the previous system was that it could not display and integrate the different hardware and software components consistently. In addition to this, the administrators required sound knowledge of different products and manufacturers of this previous system, which tied up resources that were required elsewhere. In contrast, the new solution should tie seamlessly into the existing environment and facilitate both the continuous and simple administration of the heterogeneous IT infrastructure. The team therefore placed great value on a standardized, transparent user interface. "Besides that, we wanted to move away from the costly and time-consuming backup-to-tape processes. We don't want to have to think about backing up, it must simply happen," adds Rebock.

"Thanks to Commvault, we were able to simplify and automate our data management processes in such a way that they practically run alongside. As a result, we have created a flexible IT environment, with which the internal IT group can overcome future challenges and continue to grow."

Head of IT, Expert SE
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On the recommendation of their long-standing consulting partner, the IT system house Anders & Rodewyk based in Hannover, Expert's IT team decided to implement the data management platform from Commvault, which was done quickly and smoothly. "What was crucial for our decision was that Commvault offers a secure, fast, efficient, highly scalable and simple-to-administer platform with a standardised user interface. Added to that, the solution can be excellently combined with the NetApp storage systems," Rebock confirmed.

The Commvault platform administers the core components of the IT landscape, namely the more than 200 virtual machines, the SQL databases as well as the NAS data stored within the NetApp metro cluster. Snapshots can be taken and redundant data sets deduplicated quickly and easily. Best of all, the processes involved in backup and recovery are optimized. Full backup has been replaced by a replication backup, whereby the backup time is reduced from 30 hours to just a few hours, in some instances even minutes, because only amended data need to be transferred. With the Commvault Data Platform, the backup and recovery processes are so simple and self-explanatory that the administrators do not require any in-depth knowledge of the overall infrastructure whatsoever, and Rebock, as head of department, was able to dispense with time-consuming training of his employees – also thanks to the close cooperation with Commvault's partner Anders & Rodewyk. He sees his expectations as having been fully met: "We use data backup like others use their Office applications ‐ so it needs to be simple and self-explanatory. If there are any problems, support will solve them quickly and reliably. We can simply trust the Commvault Data Platform."

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This frees up the employees in the IT department. They can now concentrate on important strategic tasks like the development and integration of new applications and therefore also contribute to greater productivity in the specialist departments. "Thanks to Commvault, we were able to simplify and automate our data management processes in such a way that they practically run alongside. As a result, we have created a flexible IT environment, with which the internal IT group can overcome future challenges and continue to grow," concludes Rebock.