WHSmith News cuts storage costs by 50% with three-tier EMC systems architecture


WHSmith News cuts storage costs by 50% with three-tier EMC systems architecture

Cliff Saran

WHSmith News, the newspaper and magazine wholesaler and distributor, has reduced storage costs by 50% and cut backup time from 13 to six hours by deploying a storage infrastructure based on EMC's technology.

The company has centralised its Oracle data warehouse, SAP Enterprise and Business Objects applications on to a three-tiered architecture based on a storage area network and network attached storage.

Earlier this month, it completed an e-mail consolidation project involving the migration of 1800 users onto a Microsoft Exchange 2003 e-mail system, which also runs across the company's storage network.

Robert Wilson, chief technology officer, WHSmith News, said, "By deploying a tiered infrastructure and automating the movement of data between tiers, our information has a lifecycle of one day."

The new system has simplified storage administration at WHSmith News, reducing the cost of storage deployment and maintenance by 50%, said Wilson.

The new storage infrastructure has also improved the availability and performance of the company's main applications, as well as simplifying information management, he added.

The company has opted for a pay-per-use licensing policy for the storage. Wilson said, "We have bought into EMC's Open Scale agreement and pay for tier-one storage on demand."

The applications run on two EMC Symmetrix DMX2000 systems, which provide the tier-one storage. An EMC Clariion CX700 with ATA discs is used at tier-two to support the company's quality assurance and development programmes.

SAP Xi is used to move data from the Symmetrix boxes on to the Clariion hardware.

To support the storage area network and network attached storage systems, WHSmith News is using EMC Controlcenter for infrastructure management, EMC SRDF for data replication between the Symmetrix DMX systems, and EMC Legato Networker for backup and recovery.

To reduce operational management costs, the EMC Controlcenter software is linked in to the company's enterprise system management tool, CA Unicenter.

WHSmith News has, for the past 18 months, provided a hosted SAP service and the new architecture will allow the company to provide three-tier storage and archiving to its ASP customers, Wilson said.

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