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Automated tiering swings it for Compellent at Manpower; and more news

Antony Adshead, UK Bureau Chief

Automated tiering swings it for Compellent at Manpower

International recruitment company Manpower -- formerly an IBM storage shop -- has upgraded its storage with the implementation of four Dell Compellent SANs in three data centres. In the process it rejected storage hardware from IBM, 3PAR and Pillar before settling on Dell Compellent because of the automated tiering capability of that company’s SAN.

Manpower’s decision to upgrade was sparked by a need to move its UK data centre from Warwick to London in early 2010 and by the end of life of existing hardware, said Si Chan, infrastructure development manager.

“We weren’t getting the most out of our storage,” Chan said. “It was a manual effort to move data between disk tiers, and we have no full-time storage admin to do such a job. It was a nightmare trying to manage six SANs. There were lots of little storage pools with no averaging across a large number of disks.”

Chan said Manpower rejected 3PAR because “we didn’t like having to move storage off to replace failed disks.” IBM was ruled out because while its XIV offers benefits like block virtualisation, there’s only one tier of disk. “It has distinct performance characteristics and limited scalability,” said Chan. Pillar’s product, which Chan described as “pretty good,” dropped off the list because “it doesn’t do its own replication and would have needed a third-party add-on, which was strange,” he said.

Manpower finally settled on four Dell Compellent Series 30 subsystems, which were installed in data centres in London, the United States and Singapore.

“Compellent delivers automated tiering, flexibility, thin provisioning, snapshots and ability to add on replication in the future; it ticked all these boxes and scales in all tiers,” said Chan.

“We have no dedicated storage manager so we struggled to make best use of capacity. Now data gets to where we want it to, and [we] can see where performance issues are occurring.”

Chan’s wishlist for improvements to the Dell Compellent product include more cache and primary data deduplication.

Balesio launches unstructured data minimiser

Storage optimisation vendor Balesio has unveiled its FMA-4800 Series appliance, which it claims reduces unstructured data capacity requirements on primary storage by up to 90%. The Balesio FMA-4800 Series appliance features a comprehensive set of content-aware native optimisation algorithms developed for unstructured formats such as Microsoft Office files, PowerPoint presentations and images. The company said the technology reduces the footprint of these files while preserving the original file format, making a subsequent rehydration or decompression unnecessary.

Buffalo refreshes TeraStation

Desktop NAS vendor Buffalo Technology has announced the launch of a refreshed TeraStation family of network storage solutions in the UK. The TeraStation family is now equipped with the Intel Atom D510 Dual-Core Processor to provide performance during file transfers and everyday NAS functions. The refreshed product line incorporates new features such as high-speed data transfer with SuperSpeed USB 3.0. The TeraStation also incorporates Active Directory support, which simplifies the management of data, and a WebAccess function that enables users to remotely access content stored on the TeraStation from anywhere in the world.

Hotel group reserves Claranet cloud

Hotel and hospitality group De Vere has announced it has chosen network provider Claranet to implement a dedicated private cloud for its mission-critical applications and websites. The platform will provide support for De Vere’s recently launched e-commerce strategy, which aims to drive traffic to its websites. “Our online strategy is a major focus for us,” said Jo Stanford, group IT director. “We regularly reach out to over a million people through online campaigns and as such it’s absolutely critical that we manage the varying volumes of traffic we generate each time.”

Computerlinks offers cloud storage

Distributor Computerlinks UK has announced the launch of its Alvea Cloud Attached Storage service. The service has been developed to address the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to protect against the loss of critical business data by implementing a centralised storage and secure off-site data protection and recovery infrastructure. The Alvea Cloud Attached Storage service combines on-premise network attached storage (NAS) appliances with cloud services to provide an integrated solution for shared storage and data protection.

Data taken to the cleaners -- literally

Credant Technologies recently conducted a survey of dry cleaners and laundrettes in the UK and discovered that more than 17,000 USB sticks were left behind in 2010 in clothes left to be dry cleaned. This is a 400 percent increase from 2009. Credant conducted outreach via phone to more than 500 dry cleaners and launderettes in the UK during December 2010 and January 2011 and extrapolated these figures based on 4,500 dry cleaners in the UK.

Durham computes the cosmos with IBM

The University of Durham’s Institute for Computational Cosmology has implemented IBM servers and storage to process data in simulations of the universe at rates of up to 25 Tflops (25 trillion floating-point operations per second) and is seven times faster than its predecessor. The server and storage cluster known as Cosma4 will enable researchers to simulate components of the universe such as galaxies, stars and planets. Cosma4 uses 220 IBM iDataPlex servers, eight IBM DS3500 storage devices and IBM’s General Parallel File System to pool 620 TB of storage. The system was supplied by high-performance computing specialist OCF.

ExaGrid expands Veeam Support

ExaGrid Systems has announced expanded backup application support for Veeam Backup & Replication. Customers can now use Veeam Backup’s built-in source-side data deduplication in concert with ExaGrid’s disk-based backup system. ExaGrid now provides full support for Veeam Backup & Replication Version 5, including advanced features such as Instant VM Recovery, U-AIR (Universal Application-Item Recovery) and SureBackup Recovery Verification.

FalconStor high-end retailer win

FalconStor Software has announced that London-based luxury retailer Radley & Co has completely done away with traditional backup and deployed its Continuous Data Protector (CDP) product to provide disaster recovery (DR) and backup services. Radley & Co produces a lot of data in many different formats and across multiple sites, including internationally. The company’s primary aim was to replicate data from its data centre in London to a remote warehouse location that also serves as its DR site.

With Radley & Co’s London infrastructure almost entirely virtualised on VMware ESX Server, the objective was achieved by deploying a FalconStor DiskSafe agent on each virtualised server, which synchronises data back to a FalconStor CDP appliance that replicates to the DR site over a leased line. Snapshots are taken every three hours, enabling rollback in three-hour intervals to up to a week before any disaster. The company also implemented FalconStor HyperTrac Backup Accelerator technology to archive data onto tape. 

id7 offers SSD caching device

UK-based id7 has announced the VS-fusion SAN Accelerator solution, designed to share and optimise server-deployed NAND flash-based ioMemory from Fusion-io across the SAN as a connected appliance. id7’s VS-fusion SAN Accelerator combines Fusion-io technology and id7’s advanced cache algorithms in one appliance to boost HDD storage array IOPS by up to 100 times whilst also significantly reducing latency. The company claims business applications such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL and Exchange databases run significantly faster and deliver performance boosts to existing VM and VDI environments.

Dundee council IBM win

Dundee council has upgraded its IBM mainframe server and storage systems in a move aimed at delivering better services to citizens while meeting reduced cost targets. The organisation complemented the upgrade from IBM System z9 machines to IBM System z10s with the addition of direct-attached IBM XIV System Storage. The implementation also includes a six-year maintenance contract with IBM. The new infrastructure is part of a long-term plan in preparation for moving existing data storage from two current sites to a new data centre in July 2011. 

Loughborough Uni gets hybrid cloud IT

Loughborough University plans to deploy Logicalis’ Cooperative Cloud in a move aimed at meeting the long-term capacity demands of its research, teaching and enterprise services.  Logicalis will design and build an on-site private cloud fully integrated with an off-site hosted cloud. This single, scalable architecture will provide unlimited scope for future capacity provisioning and is set to save the university more than 640 metric tonnes of CO² per annum and achieve significant cost savings. Loughborough’s on-site cloud will be built on enterprise-class products from Cisco, NetApp and CA. The private cloud will provide enough compute, storage and network capacity to meet immediate local demand, while long-term future capacity, on-demand burst capacity and disaster recovery capability will be provided by the Logicalis Hosted Cloud.

Origin offers secure laptop drives

Basingstoke-based Origin Storage has announced the launch of Enigma FIPS, which incorporates the Seagate Momentus encrypted drive. The FIPS 140-2 solution provides organisations with a way to secure laptops using the highest levels of hardware encryption.  FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards) certification AES-compliant devices can be utilised by government agencies or departments for the purpose of protecting sensitive data.

Redstor and Nasuni partner

Cloud storage service provider Redstor has announced a partnership with Nasuni, creator of software-based cloud storage gateways. Redstor is now able to offer its customer base the Redstor CloudNAS service, which uses the Nasuni Filer product to create a secure, high-performance NAS server with a connection to the Redstor Cloud Storage Platform. The Nasuni Filer can be used as primary storage instead of, or in combination with, traditional file servers as it provisions storage capacity automatically and delivers local-like performance. Features include synchronous snapshots, deduplication, and encryption and key management for security.

StorageCraft expands in the UK and Spain

StorageCraft Technology has announced the opening of a new office in Spain and a move to larger offices in the UK. StorageCraft is a provider of ShadowProtect disk-based backup, disaster recovery, system migration and data protection solutions for servers, desktops and laptops.

Virtual Instruments appointment

SAN monitoring product vendor Virtual Instruments has announced that Jason Tooley has joined the company as vice president of sales for EMEA. Prior to joining Virtual Instruments, Tooley led the EMEA and Latin American teams at Mformation Technologies, where he worked with many large customers including Vodafone, Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom.  Before that he spent three years at Micromuse, and following its acquisition by IBM, Tooley was appointed business unit executive for Tivoli in the UK, Ireland and Africa.


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