City firm uses Ethernet storage as hedge against a costly San roll-out

City firm Brevan Howard has installed an Ethernet-connected storage system to support a project to migrate its key trade entry...

City firm Brevan Howard has installed an Ethernet-connected storage system to support a project to migrate its key trade entry system back in-house.

Brevan Howard, which manages a £6bn European hedge fund, wanted to avoid, or at least postpone, the cost and complexity of implementing a storage area network.

In an effort to keep down capital and staff costs, it specified a simple and cost-effective storage system that could be managed internally, with no dependency on converters or extenders.

Brevan Howard's selection criteria included the ability to connect numerous hosts directly to the storage frame and the ability to replicate data over existing IP networks.

The company started using a 3Par Inserv Storage Server to directly connect applications and databases, including Sybase and Microsoft SQL Server, as part of the migration project, which is due to go live in the first quarter of 2005. The storage is replicated across two datacentres.

Brevan Howard's head of technology Paul Bryant said the company had no San infrastructure. "There are no San switches and no San skills in-house," he said. Putting a San in place would have required the building of the infrastructure and the training of IT staff, delaying the migration project, he added

Rather than connect applications and servers to a San switch, Bryant said the servers were connected to the 3Par storage server via two controllers. This offers improved resilience to the set-up.

The link between the two datacentres uses Gigabit Ethernet. For disaster recovery, data is replicated across both sites simultaneously using Remote Copy on the 3Par server, which moves blocks of data between storage systems at each datacentre to keep them synchronised.

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