BA audits heterogenous SAN

British Airways has certified its business continuity plans using Data-Shield's SAN Assessment service.

British Airways has certified its business continuity plans using Data-Shield's SAN Assessment service.

Like many organisations, BA's primary and secondary SANs have grown organically over many years and now consist of elements from multiple suppliers. "It is a critical infrastructure and we felt that an independent assessment was essential to ensure that it continues to meet our operational needs," said Steve Harding, IT service delivery manager for British Airways.

"The diversity of the network made finding a properly certified test and audit specialist rather difficult," he said.

The Data-Shield SAN Assessment team spent a week at the BA facility near Heathrow to run a set of tests across SAN equipment from McData, IBM, HP, EMC and Brocade. The team also interviewed key administrators and examined configurations, deployment schemas, environmental readings and change control procedures to provide a comprehensive report covering every aspect of the SAN infrastructure.

While BA has direct agreements with several SAN manufacturers and an IT maintenance provider, the independent external expert assessment provides us with an unbiased report," said Harding. "The result has helped us to validate our business continuity position, refine several of our processes and make a number of key configuration changes which will improve the resilience of our SAN infrastructure."

Cliff Hutchings, technical director for Data-Shield, said: "Most large SAN implementations will have products from multiple vendors, and often the suppliers will only have a technical understanding of the primary manufacturer and current generation of technology."

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