3G push forces Orange to look at virtual San

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3G push forces Orange to look at virtual San

James Rogers
Telecoms giant Orange is considering using virtual storage area networks to help its IT systems manage growing data volumes from mobile customers, as the company plans for the emergence of 3G.

Although currently at the evaluation stage, the project would involve the creation of about six virtual Sans to support business applications, such as billing and customer management.

Orange currently has 15 separate physical Sans across its business, although the telecoms firm is planning to introduce new switching technology.

Stephen Coombs, Orange storage manager, said the telco was also examining the option of using new networking technology, such as fibre channel-over-IP or virtual Sans.

"This should make our systems more stable and it should also make managing our future data growth better," he told the Storage Expo Conference in London last week.

However, Coombs added that the project roll-out would have to be carefully managed to minimise the risk to the business.

He said, "It is all about managing the change to the business while minimising the impact to systems stability."

Orange currently has a total of about 410Tbytes of data stored across its organisation, the majority of which is stored in EMC systems.

However, Coombs warned that this figure is expected to grow: "Of course we will grow the amount of storage that we have, it is going to happen because of services that will go alongside the emergence of 3G."

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