For the Maricopa Fire District, instantaneous information retrieval can be a matter of life and death. For this reason, the IT team automated functions such as fire ground command, pre-fire planning, building inspection records, and personnel records. However, new challenges surfaced when staffing grew 500% and file sharing needs and application requirements increased from 250GB to 600 GB, or 140%, in 12 months.
The Maricopa Fire District realized that their current infrastructure had significant limitations. Capacity expansion was very difficult, because storage was direct attached. Adding local storage to existing servers meant approximately 2 hours of downtime, and it also took up to 10 minutes to access data. In addition, backup and disaster recovery were serious problems and restores were slow--individual files took up to 60 minutes and server recovery a whole day. In a profession requiring 5-minute response times, this was unworkable.
"We needed a device that was expandable, reliable, served at least 250 users, and could replicate data across the network on a local government budget," said Ben Graff, IT and communications director of the Maricopa Fire District. "We also wanted file-serving support and block-level application support for our blade servers. We were disappointed with the overpriced solutions on the market and the added costs for replication software."
Network Appliance Inc.