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Nielsen Knits Fabrics Together

Nielsen Media Research is quickly moving to the next phase of its storage network deployment, with a blueprint for creating one large SAN in place of several smaller ones.

The TV ratings company is planning to consolidate its nine independent Fibre Channel fabrics with 12 additional Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) SilkWorm 12000 switches, and it's using SAN management software from startup AppIQ Inc. to help with the transition.

Today, Nielsen's primary SAN infrastructure comprises about 60 Tbytes of storage connected across more than 600 active ports. In its existing data center in Dunedin, Fla. -- near the company's Tampa operations headquarters -- it runs two 64-port Brocade 12000s, four 32-port 3900s, 18 16-port 3800s, and four older 1-Gbit/s switches.

Over the next few months, Nielsen will be moving to a brand-new 20,000-square-foot data center 10 miles away in Oldsmar, Fla. As part of the relocation, the company is seizing the opportunity to merge its previously isolated SANs to simplify management and to pave the way to migrate more of its direct-attached storage to the SAN.

"The way SANs got created here was on a project-by-project basis," says Rob Stevenson, storage strategist at Nielsen Media Research. "Now we're looking to get down to three fabrics: One for the labs, and a two-tiered dual fabric for the production environment."

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