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United Biscuits uses NetApp storage virtualisation with IBM storage

Antony Adshead, UK Bureau Chief

United Biscuits uses NetApp storage virtualisation with IBM storage

United Biscuits has combined existing IBM SAN equipment with a new NetApp FAS array using NetApp V-series storage virtualisation hardware in a move that will boost storage capacity and establish a hot failover disaster recovery site for its virtualised server environment.

The snack maker--which owns a large portfolio of UK brands, including McVitie’s, Jacob’s, Carr’s, McCoy’s, Hula Hoops and KP--had made a significant investment in IBM storage hardware over the years, but it was proving expensive to expand and operate.

Steve Summersgill, technical services manager at United Biscuits, said, “The high cost of maintenance of our existing system together with the requirement for improved disaster recovery and our move towards increased virtualisation offered us the opportunity to re-evaluate our storage strategy.”

After researching the market, United Biscuits came up with a shortlist of three options. Two were rip-and-replace proposals, but the company went with a proposition from NetApp partner ANS to use a V3140 storage virtualisation appliance and integrate the existing IBM SAN into the new environment with a NetApp FAS 3140 providing storage at a second, new DR site.

“We wanted to provide instant failover in the event of an emergency to ensure seamless business continuity,” said Summersgill.

The V3140 functions as a NAS gateway and a SAN virtualisation engine and has unified storage provision into a single platform with 35 TB of capacity. Currently, 50% of the data and most key applications have been relocated onto the new NetApp appliance. The rest of the data will be migrated when the second site is operational and replication has been configured.

Law firm gets virtual I/O

London-based international law firm Stephenson Harwood has deployed Xsigo I/O virtualisation and gained fourfold I/O performance increases and a 66% reduction in storage and networking costs.

Stephenson Harwood purchased two Xsigo VP560 I/O Directors to ensure maximum I/O between virtual servers and SAN storage by offloading the majority of server-to-server traffic from the Ethernet core. Xsigo’s virtual I/O technology splits a single physical server connection into many virtual connections.

Chris Petrie, IT director of Stephenson Harwood, said, “We had planned to expand our use of 10 Gbps Ethernet but found that Xsigo virtual I/O could deliver four times the I/O performance to our servers and accommodate Fibre Channel connections as well, all for about the same cost as a 10 Gbps Ethernet infrastructure alone.”

Petrie added, “Xsigo let us efficiently reuse our existing 1 Gbps Ethernet infrastructure and reduced our Fibre Channel port count needs by 66%, significantly reducing cabling and port costs and minimising disruption.”

Acronis launches channel programme

Data protection vendor Acronis has launched a new global channel partner programme aimed at enhancing the virtualisation and cloud capabilities of its partners that target the SMB market. The new Acronis Partner Programme is a four-tier programme that offers partners access to technical support and demand generation assets from Acronis. To reach each tier of partnership, partners are required to achieve a certain level of revenue and certification accreditations in return for discounts and more opportunities.

Atempo certified for Dell object storage

Data protection vendor Atempo has announced that Atempo Digital Archive (ADA) has been certified for the Dell DX Object Storage Platform. ADA automatically organises data and makes it accessible using hierarchical storage management capabilities. By tracking metadata and using metadata-based policies, ADA and the DX Object Storage Platform can manage how long and where the data is stored.

Coraid boosts EMEA presence

ATA-over-Ethernet vendor Coraid has announced increased investment in resources in Europe, Middle East and Africa. The vendor currently has more than 350 customers in the region and recently appointed Marcos Burnett to the position of EMEA sales director and opened regional headquarters in the UK. “We decided that the most effective way to manage our rapid growth in this territory would be to install a local team and to formalise the relationships we have started building with European resellers through a channel programme,” said Burnett.

HDS UK appointment

Hitachi Data Systems has announced the appointment of Stephen Ball to the post of vice president and general manager of UK, Ireland and South Africa. Ball joins Hitachi Data Systems from Orange Business Services, where he was sales director for the global network provider. His 24-year career in ICT also includes 11 years at Computacenter and senior positions at KPN Getronics and EMC. 

Magirus distributes vBundles

Distributor Magirus has launched a new range of its vBundle unified data centre bundles. The vBundles comprise compute, network, storage and data management technologies from VMware, Cisco and EMC integrated into preconfigured bundles for resellers. Magirus will offer three variations of the VNX/VNXe-based vBundles: the entry level VNXe 3100 vBundle, the midrange VNX 3300 vBundle and the high-end VNX 5300 vBundle.

Survey: UK lagging on IT DR compared with US

Only 56% of UK organisations have integrated IT disaster recovery into their business continuity plan, while 82.6% of those in the US have made this move. That’s one result of a survey of about 2,500 IT managers and C-level executives commissioned by DR software supplier Neverfail. Respondents in the US (29.5%) and the UK (31.3%) also said that they do not consider cloud platforms to be a viable option for DR.

StorageCraft releases VM restore tool

StorageCraft Technology has released StorageCraft ShadowProtect Virtual, which allows users to back up systems and data on any Windows system and recover it to any kind of environment: a virtual machine, physical hardware or in the cloud. ShadowProtect Virtual licenses are priced per virtual machine and include support for VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer and Oracle VirtualBox.

TMS releases RamSan-70 PCIe card

Texas Memory Systems has released the RamSan-70, a 900 GB half-length PCIe card featuring Toshiba’s newest 32 nanometre SLC flash technology. The RamSan-70 is the first product powered by Texas Memory Systems’ new Series-7 Flash Controller, which handles all flash management functions without impacting the host CPU. It incorporates TMS reliability technology such as chip-level RAID, an advanced ECC algorithm and its patented Variable Stripe RAID (VSR) error mitigation technology to give an expected life span of six to 10 years.


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