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How SAN is Used by NASA, Ferrara Candy Company, Texas Tech University System, Shibuya, and Chalmers University of Technology: Case Studies

Storage area networks (SANs) provide enterprises with fast, reliable access to storage. Though SAN solutions can vary in size and complexity, they can offer significant benefits, including increased data security, faster backups, disaster recovery (DR), and scalability.

In the following five case studies, see how organizations have engaged SAN solutions to address their data storage and access needs:

1. NASA John C. Stennis Space Center

Located in southern Mississippi, John C. Stennis Space Center (SSC) operates as NASA’s largest and primary testing facility for rocket propulsion systems.

SSC requires high-performance and high-availability data storage infrastructure before, during, and after testing their rocket propulsion systems.

“Because each rocket engine test can cost upwards of $1,000,000, it is critical that the numerous IT functions on which these trials depend be available and running for the 72 hours prior to the test, during the exercise, and for the 72 hours afterwards,” says David Oakes, systems support manager, SSC.

SSC turned to DataCore to meet these needs. The offer of continuous data availability delivered by using synchronous mirroring addressed SSC’s primary objective. Storage hardware could also be refreshed whenever needed to manage scale.

Adding to the value of the virtualized storage infrastructure DataCore delivered to SSC is the ease and efficiency of systems management.

“Using DataCore at the heart of our software-defined storage strategy has enhanced our flexibility, while hardening our environment in the best of ways,” Oakes says. “Between the virtualized machines and the virtualized storage pool behind them, we now have a rock solid data center with outstanding response, great data protection, and fantastic resiliency.”

Industry: Aerospace

SAN solutions: DataCore SANsymphony virtualization software and reporting and system management tools

Outcomes:

  • Software-defined storage (SDS) solution helped SSC deliver high availability and better performance
  • Enabled risk avoidance
  • Allowed for improved capacity management and data storage utilization as well as hardware independence and flexibility when upgrading
  • Storage resources are easier to manage and scale

See the full case study on NASA SSC and DataCore.

2. Ferrara Candy Company

Formed after a merger in 2012, Ferrara Candy Company is an American candy manufacturer with roots that date back to 1908.

While facing unprecedented triple-digit growth, Ferrara needed to address how they were outgrowing their existing IT infrastructure. Worried about the consequences of a critical outage, Ferrara turned to HPE.

“We had a demo of HPE Nimble Storage that opened our eyes,” says Stefan Floyhar, senior IT manager for IT infrastructure, Ferrara.

Ease of administration along with the visibility into why applications were performing poorly helped HPE deliver an effective solution.

Industry: food

SAN solutions: HPE Nimble Storage, HPE InfoSight, HPE Intelligent Storage

Outcomes:

  • Six-figure cost savings by preventing system downtime
  • Moved from reactive IT firefighting to proactive monitoring
  • Solved the need to focus on infrastructure instead of the business

See the full case study on Ferrara Candy Company and HPE.

3. Texas Tech University System

Texas Tech University System (TTUS) has four component institutions that operate at multiple campuses and academic sites across Texas and internationally.

Their IT department has the challenge of providing technology solutions that support TTUS’ goals of advancing higher education, health care, research, and outreach.

After adopting enterprise business intelligence (BI) software, TTUS found the resource-intensive reporting engine to be feature rich but at the cost of stability and speed. Faced with thousands of their users trying to run reports, each of the institutions was experiencing performance problems and slow or failed reports.

After migrating from an existing storage array to VMWare vSAN, TTUS found the solution exceeded their expectations.

“When comparing latency numbers on vSAN to our previous storage array, we’re actually seeing a 20% performance improvement overall for … reporting,” says Stoney Streety, enterprise systems analyst for the cloud infrastructure team, TTUS.

System stability was also impacted, with a drastic reduction of emergency system restarts needed for the BI software.

Industry: Education

SAN solutions: VMWare vSAN

Outcomes:

  • Improved BI performance by 20%
  • Gave teams access to new features and capabilities that drive operational excellence and efficiencies
  • Less need for physical space without storage arrays taking up entire server racks

See the full case study on TTUS and VMware.

4. Shibuya

Part of the larger Pulsen Group, Shibuya is located in Tokyo, Japan, where they provide customized IT solutions to customers across the Nordic region.

When transforming their data center infrastructure, Shibuya chose IBM systems technology. Shibuya implemented a suite of solutions that provides scalable data protection for their entire environment, supports their backup services, and simplifies management of data with a single point of control.

“IBM technology is designed for seamless scalability, which means that both we and our clients can seize growth opportunities with confidence,” says Christian Wibeck, head of business development, Shibuya.

Industry: ITEM

SAN solutions: IBM AIX, IBM FlashSystem 5000, IBM I, IBM Power S922, IBM PowerVM, IBM SAN64B-6, IBM Spectrum Project, IMP Spectrum Virtualize, IBM Storage Insights, IBM TS4300 Tape Library

Outcomes:

  • Able to provide successful 24/7 servicing to organizations looking for high availability

See the full case study on Shibuya and IBM.

5. Chalmers University of Technology

Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and delivers education in the areas of technology, science, shipping, and architecture to over 12,000 full-time students with the help of 3,100 employees.

Recognizing the need to upgrade their storage infrastructure, Chalmers University of Technology identified the requirement for petabyte levels of storage with high availability levels and simplified data management. Improved data security was an additional concern as well as the need to future-proof their investment against expected growth in data volumes.

With the help of Infinidat, Chalmers University of Technology implemented a SAN solution that included 15 VMware servers and five file servers.

“The performance of Infinity’s solution is remarkable. Runs that previously took several hours are now completed in just 30 minutes,” says Niklas Rosenqvist, IT infrastructure manager, Chalmers University of Technology.

“Infinity has a very innovative solution, and we had confidence in the company from the beginning.”

In addition to the performance gains, Chalmers University of Technology finds Infinity’s web-based administration software module easy to use, while providing solid and reliable insights into their storage operations.

Industry: Education

SAN solutions: Infinity SAN

Outcomes:

  • High demanding workloads are managed
  • Stability and high performance levels have been observed and assured
  • Performance continues to improve over time with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms

See the full case study on Chalmers University of Technology and Infinity.

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