As the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland, Cork has watched demand for city services - and the accompanying data storage requirements - grow. To handle current storage needs and prepare for future growth, Cork City Council needed an alternative to its existing storage system, which had become slow and unmanageable.
The previous system used multiple servers with direct attached storage and had a single point of failure in the controller card for the storage devices. Non-critical data had already twice been lost due to card failures. Each server also needed to be backed up separately to tape. And, as storage demand increased, back-ups became unwieldy, maintenance and system management too complex and costly, and capacity stretched.
Sun Storagetek Professional Services designed and implemented a tiered information management system using a storage area network (San) connected by high-speed switches. Sun Storagetek disc systems ensure the council's critical data and applications are highly available and online.
The Sun software management suite delivers a single point of control for managing disc-based storage and back-up. A Sun Storagetek modular library system provides automated and reliable tape storage and back-up for the city's less often used data.
Pat Duggan, network administrator at Cork City Council, said, "Spending so many hours a week on changing tapes was a real pressure point for us. The new system has vastly improved both our efficiency and the security of our data and has allowed us to consolidate our servers and data. Sun Storagetek's Snapshot Software has also greatly enhanced our disaster recovery plan."
The storage platform has helped Cork to improve data access and make more efficient use of resources. The council's 700 users have continuous access to data and applications, and automated back-ups mean officials no longer worry about losing important data.
Automated back-ups have also dramatically reduced back-up times by eliminating manual tape changes, allowing IT staff to use their time more efficiently.
Server and data consolidation and centralised management of storage systems have helped Cork City Council reduce the cost and complexity of accessing data. And using a simpler system from a single supplier has also translated into lower training and administrative costs.
The storage platform provides plenty of capacity to handle future needs, and it can be easily upgraded without major service disruptions or additional software licensing costs, said Sun. In the long term, system flexibility and easy maintenance will lower the council's total cost of ownership.
● Sun Microsystems is exhibiting on stands 220 and 585 at Storage Expo 2007