HBOS is planning to virtualise its storage to cut IT costs and continue its far-reaching strategy of IT consolidation by virtualising computing resources.
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The bank has already implemented virtualisation technology for its local and wide area network resources and is now extending the programme to cover its application servers and storage.
By changing the way that storage is provisioned, HBOS said it would be able to allocate storage more easily across the business. It will mean that development, pre-production and production environments can all share the same storage arrays so they get used more efficiently.
In addition, by virtualising applications' file and print servers, HBOS expects to save time and resources retesting and rewriting applications.
One major challenge is that HBOS wants its users to undertake a data classification exercise, so that it can decide how best to store the company's information. It has not yet revealed details about this.
The company has 1.7 petabytes of data, and it has experienced an annual growth in storage of 63% a year. HBOS requires 700Tbytes of storage to support more than 1,000 system servers, of which 60% are Windows and 40% are Unix.
Ninety per cent of the data resides on high-performance fibre channel storage arrays, with 10% on lower performance tier-two fibre channel or serial ATA equipment.
HBOS anticipates it will have to quadruple its network bandwidth to support the new centralised IT model. "The associated cost would be offset by the improvements in using tools to balance system and operational management costs," said a spokesman.Read article: ABN Amro goes virtual