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Royal College prescribes NetApp for VMware storage

Antony Adshead, UK Bureau Chief

Royal College prescribes NetApp for VMware storage

The Royal College of General Practitioners has installed NetApp FAS2040 systems in two data centres to provide VMware storage for a server virtualisation project that has seen 40 physical servers reduced to six and brought reliable disaster recovery provision.

The RCGP’s prior infrastructure, which supported 28 UK sites, was unable to guarantee disaster recovery provision, and as a result the RCGP board set a directive to modernise it.

Andy Smith, head of IT at RCGP, appointed NetApp partner Vohkus as the preferred supplier. Vohkus delivered a scalable platform that included the installation of a new network in the data centre and migration of the entire estate from physical to virtual over an eight-week period, during the summer of 2010.

NetApp hardware comprises two FAS2040-R5s with Snap Mirror for replication between them.

Smith said: “Until we started to get a grip on the situation, I think it’s fair to say our IT architecture was in no way rationalised; we had disparate systems all over the place that responded passively to needs. We’ve gone from a passive to highly proactive IT structure that’s resilient and highly available.”

University goes solid-state for virtual desktop storage

Anglia Ruskin University has implemented a Violin Memory solid-state storage array to support its Windows 7 virtual desktop infrastructure rollout.

With heavy I/O loads anticipated as hundreds of users log on to virtual desktops, the university’s IT team felt a traditional SAN-based solution would need to be overprovisioned and that excessive power, cooling and maintenance costs would be incurred.

After evaluating a number of products, the university opted to implement a Violin 3200 Disk Array, which delivers more than 220,000 sustained random write IOPS (using 4 KB blocks). The university plans to deploy 2,500 desktops with Samsung thin clients.

Waste firm opts for Dot Hill SANs across seven sites

Oxford-based Grundon Waste Management has selected Dot Hill’s AssuredSAN 5730 as shared storage for its new virtualised server environment.

Following an initiative to digitise documents that resulted in data growth of 30 GB per week, Grundon looked at external storage arrays to leverage the company’s existing 4 Gbps Fibre Channel infrastructure and allow smooth scalability plus an upgrade path to 8 Gbps.

The company’s IT team worked with storage and virtualisation partner NCE, which proposed the Dot Hill AssuredSAN series. The first pair of Dot Hill AssuredSAN 5730 arrays were installed with 12 600 GB SAS drives and were configured to provide replication across seven operating sites.

Steve Short, ICT manager at Grundon, said: “The same Web-based interface and physical footprint are found across the entire Dot Hill product range, and this gives it a significant advantage for us when compared to many of the competitive solutions we considered. This continuity will enable us to add storage, software features or performance while protecting our original investment.”

Coraid launches VMware integration

ATA over Ethernet (AoE) vendor Coraid has announced Coraid EtherDrive SAN Manager (ESM) 1.5, which provides integration with VMware vCentre Server and Microsoft VSS and pools storage resources for simplified storage operations. EtherDrive SAN Manager uses the scale-out architecture of EtherDrive and the shared global namespace of Coraid’s CorOS operating system to monitor and configure up to petabytes of storage as a pooled resource.  It has a graphical user interface and native REST APIs for all functions. 

Kent VAR partners with Gridstore

Kent-based Diamond Point International has become a partner of US-based scale-out NAS vendor Gridstore. In the move Diamond Point joins the Gridstore Partner Program as a value-added distribution partner. Diamond Point specialises in the UK military, manufacturing, education and SMB market sectors.

Druva gets more cash

Laptop backup specialist Druva has announced it has received $12 million in a Series B round of funding. The round was led by Nexus Venture Partners, with existing investor Sequoia Capital also contributing. The funding will be used to expand the product offering and sales and marketing efforts in North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific.

Infortrend goes AC/DC

Array maker Infortrend has announced the availability of new DC power systems in its EonStor DS family of storage solutions. Many IT infrastructures in telecommunications and military environments, as well as the oil and gas industries, require systems with DC rather than AC power to run applications. With dual redundant DC power supplies, the new   EonStor DS storage systems are designed to deliver high reliability and performance in these infrastructures.

NovaStor adds Hyper-V backup

Swiss-based data protection vendor NovaStor has announced the availability of NovaBackup BE Virtual 12.2, which supports backup and restore of unlimited virtual machines on Microsoft Hyper-V servers. The new version allows users to back up Hyper-V environments in addition to VMware ESX(i) 4.0 and later and vSphere servers.

Texas Memory Systems to sell eMLC

Texas Memory Systems (TMS) has announced its first enterprise MLC product, the RamSan-810. The 10 TB RamSan-810 has 8 Gbps Fibre Channel or QDR InfiniBand interfaces and dissipates only 250 W . Reliability of the RamSan-810 is boosted by the TMS Series-7 Flash Controller, which utilises an advanced error correction algorithm and Variable Stripe Raid (VSR) algorithm. VSR automatically bypasses failing chips and is only available from TMS. The RamSan-810 is rated for a 10-year life with a write workload of 50 TB per day.

Virtual Instruments’ new version

SAN analytics product vendor Virtual Instruments has launched its Virtual Wisdom 3.0 product suite. This includes the new 8 Gbps SAN Performance Probe, which aims to provide visibility across servers, networks and storage and help users improve infrastructure performance and availability. The VirtualWisdom 3.0 platform claims to be the only solution that can help ensure the performance of business-critical applications in a virtualised environment through real-time analysis of SAN I/O traffic data.


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