Airservices Australia seeks 378 Terabyte SANs

Australia’s air traffic control regulator, Airservices Australia, plans to purchase SANs with capacity of 378TB, virtual and physical tape libraries and 4GB fiber channel networks.

Airspace regulator Airservices Australia plans to acquire two new storage area networks, a pair of virtual tape libraries and two physical tape libraries with an initial capacity of 126 terabytes and the ability to reach triple that capacity - 378 terabytes of storage.

The new SANs will be installed in Melbourne and Brisbane and will be required to house 49 terabytes of Fiber Channel drives as tier one storage, with 77 terabytes of SATA the preferred tier two, although the organisation says it is open to SAS or ISCSI on tier two subject to price/performance considerations.

The agency has settled on LTO 4 as the medium for its tape libraries..

Fiber channel is the organisation’s connection technology of choice, with the four-gigabyte flavour of the standard specified as an essential requirement to enable it to create a SAN switching fabric that is also expected to connect to tape drives.

SearchStorage ANZ spoke with Airservices Officers who would not say if the new infrastructure represents a replacement or additional capacity. One of the agency’s current pieces of storage infrastructure, a pair of fiber-channel capable EMC Clariion CX3-40 SANs, suggests the new fibre channel kit could mean it is extending current infrastructure. SearchStorage ANZ has, however, learned that the agency is also seeking an enterprise backup tool for the new infrastructure. As few organisations find it wise to operate two different enterprise backup tools, the desire for a new backup tool is a possible hint that this is new infrastructure.

The new products’ role is also obscure, but SearchStorage ANZ has learned that the Melbourne SAN will be the first the agency has installed in that location and that it is hoped to replicate data between the Brisbane and Melbourne SANs for disaster recovery purposes. The agency also wants to install its new infrastructure quickly: documents outlining its plans state that it will evaluate suppliers “… on their ability to supply, deliver and implement as soon as possible.”

The winning tenderer is also expected to provide training and services for the new solution, and to achieve uptime of 99% for the SANs and 99.5% for the tape libraries.

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