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Charity cuts costs with Xsigo network virtualisation

Antony Adshead

Charity cuts costs with Xsigo network virtualisation

UK charity Action for Children has cut data centre cabling by 90% and reduced cabling costs by 50% after switching to Xsigo’s proprietary network virtualisation technology.

The opportunity to upgrade its server and storage networking infrastructure came in 2011 with relocation of its data centres to a London Docklands and a secondary Watford site. The organisation wanted a simpler network/fabric with reduced cabling, switch port and HBA count.

Action for Children deployed two Xsigo I/O Directors to connect HP rack and blade servers to a Cisco 1 Gbps LAN and 15 TB of NetApp storage via Fibre Channel. To manage server connectivity across all devices, the organisation has standardised on the Xsigo management interface. Xsigo’s products allow users to divide each physical link into multiple virtual cables.

Gareth Williams, senior infrastructure security analyst at Action for Children, said, “If we stayed with Cisco, the cost of upgrading our cabling would have been extremely high and we would have been stuck with miles of legacy cabling. With Xsigo’s infrastructure virtualisation technology. we reduced by 90% the number of cables needed to connect our servers.”

Prison group deploys cloud backup

Berkshire-based prisons group GEO Group UK has deployed Securstore Cloud Backup and Recovery, which is based on Asigra data protection products and is an agentless solution. GEO Group UK uses Securstore’s multi-tier solution with critical and noncritical data predefined over two tiers of storage. By default, data resides in the primary tier, but retention rules can be applied to move older, nonchanging data to the secondary tier.

Danish city deploys Fusion-io software

The Danish city of Esbjerg has virtualised its Microsoft Exchange 2010 infrastructure with Fusion-io ioTurbine virtualisation caching software. Integrated into the server with Fusion-io’s ioDrive memory platform, the VMware vMotion-compatible caching software enabled Esbjerg to virtualise its 20,000-user Exchange environment and achieved a 40 percent reduction on its existing SAN workload.

Esbjerg deployed ioTurbine on Fusion-io ioDrive hardware to address the I/O issues associated with virtualisation and avoid an expensive SAN upgrade. Esben Foverskov, head of IT Infrastructure with Esbjerg Kommune, said, “When we put Exchange 2010 into production with ioTurbine, the results were significant. Outlook was extremely responsive, and we no longer had I/O issues stemming from traditional storage infrastructures and their associated latency.”

Amplidata software upgrade

Object storage array vendor Amplidata has announced AmpliStor XT, the latest version of its system software. The upgrade promises speed increases in throughput, IOPS and latency plus new object caching features. The upgrade also enables streamlined application development via API enhancements for HTTP/REST and .Net applications. AmpliStor XT also  provides an improved GUI for monitoring and reporting, SNMP support to allow alerting and browsing in common frameworks, and automated installation of petabyte-scale deployments.

Object Matrix to put data on tape

Cardiff-based nearline object storage vendor Object Matrix has announced a partnership with digital video archiving provider XenData, which will allow tape to be managed by an object storage software module due to be released in September. The product will allow movement of data from Object Matrix MatrixStore nearline storage to any LTO library supported by XenData, policy-based migration and metadata left in MatrixStore to indicate the new location of the data.

StorageCraft’s Intel backup box

StorageCraft UK announced it has partnered with Intel to offer a backup and disaster recovery appliance operating on the Intel Hybrid Cloud Program. Available with the Intel AppUp Small Business Service, the Backup & Recovery appliance powered by StorageCraft’s ShadowProtect software gives managed service providers (MSPs) a business continuity, recovery and backup solution designed for small and medium-sized businesses that use Windows-based computer systems.

TMS offers server-side flash

Texas Memory Systems has introduced the RamSan-80, a 450 GB eMLC PCIe flash card integrated with Nevex Virtual Technologies' CacheWorks software, which accelerates I/O-intensive applications. The RamSan-80 is Texas Memory Systems’ first product that combines RamSan hardware and application server software. The eMLC-based PCIe flash can be used with a wide range of servers, and Nevex CacheWorks optimises virtual application performance to make better use of existing storage capacity.


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