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Essex college deploys ATA over Ethernet; and more news

Antony Adshead, UK Bureau Chief

Essex college deploys ATA over Ethernet

Essex sixth-form institution Palmer’s College has deployed Coraid ATA over Ethernet SAN storage as part of a data centre virtualisation project.

In 2010 the college was offered an interest-free government loan toward its IT infrastructure, so it decided to virtualise its data centre to save power and cooling as it had maxed out the available capacity.

To support this, it considered a number of options, including EMC Clariions and Celerras, but eventually selected two Coraid EtherDrive SRX3200 and two EtherDrive VSX storage virtualisation appliances to create a fully redundant storage infrastructure based on 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

Network and Systems Developer Dan Byne said, “Our Coraid systems have curbed our needs for additional IT staff; the storage infrastructure is much easier and quicker to manage now. The Ethernet appliances are very fast, and the performance/cost and capacity/cost ratios are fantastic.”

The Eden Project goes NetApp

The Eden Project has implemented a NetApp storage infrastructure to support a VMware server virtualisation project and has achieved up to 45% primary data deduplication and seen a return on its investment within 18 months.

The Cornwall-based organisation hosts more than 1 million people a year at its events and exhibits and carries out research projects on the natural world and plant life. It embarked on the project following a decision to bring previously outsourced IT back in house and engaged consultants S3 to help it put its server estate on a virtualised footing using the existing Cisco network infrastructure.

Jon Curry, director of HR and ICT at the Eden Project, said, “We saw that our 25 servers were all at around five years in their service life, so an upgrade was inevitable.”

The result is an estate of 35 virtual servers plus five physical servers on two VMware ESX virtualisation platforms supported by a NetApp FAS2020 array with 7 TB of capacity.

NetApp’s onboard primary data deduplication has seen the organisation gain up to 45% data reduction, said Curry. “We were a bit sceptical at first. We were told we could get as much as 33% deduplication of our data, which would have been great. But, we've been getting on a consistent basis between 30% and 45% deduplication.”

British Airways gets its SANs tested

Surrey-based Data-Shield has completed a SAN audit and test project for British Airways to help the airline certify its business continuity position and improve operational processes across its storage infrastructure.

BA’s primary and secondary SANs have grown organically over many years and consist of elements from multiple vendors. Data-Shield was engaged and spent a week at the BA facility near Heathrow running a full spectrum of tests across SAN equipment from McData, IBM, HP, EMC and Brocade.

The Data-Shield team also interviewed key administrators and examined configurations, deployment schemas, environmental readings and change control procedures to provide a comprehensive report covering every aspect of the SAN infrastructure.

Steve Harding, IT service delivery manager for British Airways, said, “The result has helped us to validate our business continuity position, refine several of our processes and make a number of key configuration changes, which will improve the resilience of our SAN infrastructure.”

Council cloud uses Xsigo virtual I/O

Carmarthenshire County Council has increased operating efficiency, reduced infrastructure costs and boosted its ability to provide cloud services by deploying Xsigo virtual I/O as part of a server consolidation initiative.

The council employs more than 9,000 staff and provides services to approximately 180,000 people. In late 2010, it embarked on a server consolidation project and a potential expansion of the storage environment.

At the time, the existing Cisco Fibre Channel switches had just over a year left before they had to be replaced. The IT department at the authority considered an expansion of the Cisco 10 GbE infrastructure and a Fibre Channel switch update but decided it would be more cost-effective to implement Xsigo virtual I/O.

Xsigo I/O Director is a proprietary I/O virtualisation product that allows users to connect any server to any network and storage device through a consolidated infrastructure. I/O Director delivers up to 40 Gbps bandwidth per server connection, enables server consolidation and facilitates management tasks such as vMotion and data backup.

Infortrend and Milestone partner up

Array maker Infortrend and Milestone, an open platform IP video management software vendor, have announced a partnership whereby Infortrend is now a Milestone Solution Partner (MSP). Infortrend’s ESVA and EonStor DS storage systems are compatible with Milestone software and will work in video surveillance applications featuring Milestone solutions.

Virtual Instruments names new CFO

SAN testing product vendor Virtual Instruments has announced that George Harrington has joined the company in the role of CFO. He is responsible for all aspects of finance and accounting at the company. Prior to joining Virtual Instruments, Harrington served as vice president of finance and chief accounting officer at Symantec. He previously held financial roles at BMC Software and IBM.


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