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EMC Helps the Swedish-speaking Population of Finland Preserve Its Cultural Heritage

Susan Stout

Customer References Manager, EMC, Core Technologies Division
Susan is a creative, enthusiastic, results-driven and detail oriented professional with many years of program/project management experience in the high tech industry. She leverages strong organization and communication skills to manage multiple on-going projects simultaneously and consistently meets commitments with integrity. Susan is currently a part of the customer reference team within EMC's Core Technologies Division. Outside of EMC Susan works as a personal trainer as well as enjoys spending time with her husband and twin boys.

people of finland 2In an increasingly globalized world, local traditions, dialects and literature can become lost in national and international culture. Like many similar organizations around the world, the Society of Swedish Literature in Finland (SLS), is working to curate a record of one sector of its country’s indigenous heritage.  And, with that task comes huge data storage and data protection challenges.

SLS digitizes and protects a wide range of materials related to the lives of Swedish-speaking Finns– everything from photos, to hand-written documents, to films, books, recordings, and more.  In many cases, the act of scanning old photographs or playing magnetic tapes destroys the original as the electronic copies are made so SLS’s digital archives contain cultural treasures that, often, exist today only in digital form.

“Photos continue to fade, and magnetic tapes wear out,” Karola Söderman, head of information management at SLS, explains. “In some cases, after we’ve played a tape to digitize it, it falls apart.”

SLS’s library of Swedish-speaking Finnish history is stored and managed in two phases.  Initially, data is digitized and catalogued on a system based on EMC VNX technology.  Once processed, the data is stored on one of two EMC Atmos arrays, one in its Helsinki main office and another, that mirrors it, in its Vaasa facility.  SLS’s 100TB of data is protected using EMC NetWorker and EMC Data Domain.

In addition to the storage of its library of preserved records, SLS also turns to EMC to support the administrative storage needs of the organization.  SLS’s active directories, email, intranet, file shares and SQL databases all rely on EMC.  Having initially built its storage network on the VNX platform, SLS is transitioning to EMC Unity to realize the benefits of EMC’s most modern midrange offering.

“Unity feels like a godsend to us,” says Mats (Madsen) Wikholm, IT manager at SLS. “With Unity, we get enhanced performance as well as a number of features that make life easier for me.  As an IT manager in a small organization I wear about ten hats and the modernity, simplicity, affordability and flexibility of Unity helps me to achieve more with limited resources.”

Here’s how:

  • The simple and intuitive HTML5 management interface (Unisphere):  This makes everyday actions less time consuming and means that operations that SLS undertakes less frequently can be completed easily without needing to source instructions or log into multiple management consoles.
  • Full unified support for multiple storage protocols, including block, file, and VMware Virtual Volumes (vVols):  This is critical for SLS, since they have a broad selection of workloads running on their network, with both operational applications and its digitized historical assets.
  • Built-in unified snapshots, which are especially helpful in dealing with ransomware

Since the SLS library is irreplaceable, the organization can’t afford to lose data.  Yet is receives submissions via FTP and is reliant on researchers being online, which makes it vulnerable to attack.  The Unity snapshots, in conjunction with EMC NetWorker and EMC Data Domain, leave SLS with a fallback instance of its data in the event that ransomware compromises the network.

To learn more about SLS and its use of EMC solutions, please go here.

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