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Case Study: Seek Systems' Adaptive RAID Storage Array

Ericsson, the multinational telecommunications company, dramatically improved its network performance by adding an Adaptive card...

Ericsson, the multinational telecommunications company, dramatically improved its network performance by adding an Adaptive card to its RAID sub system

Ericsson Wireless Communications is a multi-national firm dominating the telecommunications business. If you are using a cellular phone, the chances are your call is transmitted over switching hardware manufactured by Ericsson. Its customers are the biggest in the telecommunications industry, and include AT&T, Nortel, Southwestern Bell, PacTel, NY Cellular, Florida Cellular One and more.

Of a large company's many concerns, the customer is always the most important, and their issues need to be addressed in a timely manner. "Customers" are sometimes other inter-company departments, sometimes external interests, but their concerns must be tracked and answered. Tom Chapin is the assistant project manager in charge of creating a new Customer Service Issue Tracking System at Ericsson Wireless. After reviewing software packages, Chapin deemed that none met his specific needs. So he and his project manager assembled a team and built one internally.

At the heart of his system lies a Dual Pentium Pro NT Server and the Seek Systems' Adaptive RAID Storage Array. The architecture Chapin chose included NTrigue (an enhanced NT Server) and a custom FoxPro application, code-named "Einstein".

"When the whole thing started, nobody knew who we were," says Chapin. "Now, one of the corporate vice presidents can be seen inside the company wearing the Einstein t-shirt!"

Chapin's system is a prototype for customer service management, both in his department and company-wide. Being the first to blaze the way inside his company, Chapin's idea had to be lightening fast and very affordable. "We had to achieve high performance at a low cost," states Chapin. Seek Systems delivered the Adaptive RAID storage system that succeeded on both points.

"Adaptive RAID has provided high performance for the back end of this project. The low cost server and (Adaptive RAID) storage array made the whole project possible." During the bench test phase of the project, Seek scored big points. In one series of tests, Seek outperformed the competition by over 300 per cent in read/write performance tests. "We have been very pleased, the Adaptive RAID unit is very fast and is meeting our needs. In fact," Chapin says, "Adaptive RAID knocks your socks off!"

Benefits of the new system include prompt assignment of tasks, better tracking of action items, and ultimately better, faster customer service.

Compiled by Ajith Ram

(c) Seek Systems, Inc. 1998

This was first published in August 1999

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