Airline takes steps to ease storage baggage

Lufthansa has carried out a test implementation of storage virtualisation software which, when fully implemented, could put the...

Lufthansa has carried out a test implementation of storage virtualisation software which, when fully implemented, could put the company among the first to reap the benefits of advances in storage management.

The airline implemented Fujitsu Softek Storage Manager software on 8Tbytes of storage in Windows NT and IBM S/390 environments in an early shipment programme.

Lufthansa aims to evaluate its suitability for use with the company's 100Tbytes of storage which is spread across platforms including HP-UX, AIX and Solaris Unix flavours as well as Linux, Windows NT and 2000.

E-mail and line-of-business applications mean most companies need to store vast amounts of data. In the past storage managers had to view a different screen for each operating environment and reworking connections was a time-consuming job for a hardware engineer.

Virtualisation software, which is just becoming available, solves a long-standing problem with storage area networks allowing stored assets on a number of platforms to be visible from a central console, while processing devices and storage media can be linked through a software connection.

Peter Baumeister, senior consultant in storage management solutions planning at Lufthansa Systems, said, "Our biggest problem is that we cannot easily see what is in our storage networks. We have experienced huge growth over that past three or four years and this software gives us a single view. It is quicker and requires less manpower. It should also help us to provision storage more efficiently so we can fight against it growing."

Lufthansa will not go for a full implementation this year because of budget constraints but will consider it for early 2003, when it hopes to institute all-round storage management.

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