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Britannia ready to roll out storage virtualisation to check server growth

Britannia Building Society is extending its use of a storage virtualisation tool that enables it to duplicate key systems for investigating problems in a live environment without affecting normal back-end services.

Britannia Building Society is extending its use of a storage virtualisation tool that enables it to duplicate key systems for investigating problems in a live environment without affecting normal back-end services.

SVM, from StoreAge Networking Technologies, was brought in to support Britannia’s core Fineos Banking platform, but it is now being rolled out to other parts of the business, including the management information system.

As SVM’s use is extended, it is replacing ad hoc database cloning and file copying arrangements with an automated service that can take a snapshot of a database far more quickly than previous systems.

Paul Thomas, database services manager at Britannia, said, “SVM enables the IT department to deliver business data for customer-responsive systems in minutes, which is a significant improvement.”

Thomas said the storage appliance’s other main benefit was that it had greatly reduced the storage requirements of the database copies taken, which was crucial for keeping a lid on Britannia’s server requirements.

“It is also really low maintenance,” he said. “It just sits there in and runs in the background, doing what it needs to do. All we have had to do since installing it is to take on additional servers periodically to cover growth.”

SVM runs in a five-server test environment. All the servers are Sun Solaris, which are used exclusively across the organisation.

This was first published in May 2006

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