Alibris Picks 3PAR

Alibris has deployed 3PAR Utility Storage to support all mission-critical applications

May 8, 2007

2 Min Read
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FREMONT, Calif. -- 3PAR, the leading provider of Utility Storage, announced today that Alibris--the online exchange for sellers of more than 60 million used, new and out-of-print book, music and movie titles worldwide--has deployed 3PAR Utility Storage to support all mission-critical applications, including its data-intensive product inventory system. Alibris ( selected 3PAR InServ ® S800 Storage Server because of the highly virtualized platform that offers high performance and massive scalability with unmatched simplicity.

"A reliable, high-performing and easy-to-use consolidated storage platform is key to successfully scaling our data-intensive applications,” said Michael Schaffer, Chief Technology Officer at Alibris. “With 3PAR Utility Storage, we get maximum simplicity coupled with high performance. Now only 15% of our system administrator’s time is spent managing storage. 3PAR’s virtualization automatically optimizes our disk drive investment with zero potential for lost performance.”

Alibris sought a new, highly virtualized storage consolidation platform that would deliver high performance, massive scalability, high availability, cost-efficiency and ease of use. After evaluating alternatives from traditional Network Attached Storage (NAS) and Storage Area Network (SAN) vendors, Alibris selected 3PAR Utility Storage to support its inventory management system, retail website, search engine and e-commerce order-processing system, which are all based on multiple clustered Microsoft® SQL Server™ databases.

Alibris is the premiere online destination for those seeking an unparalleled selection of books, as well as an ambitiously expanding catalog of music and movie titles. These items are offered to consumers through a variety of channels, including the Alibris retail websites (which include recently launched Alibris and those of its partners, such as Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Through its proprietary technology and advanced logistics, Alibris manages physical and virtual inventories by connecting millions of interested buyers to the products on the shelves of thousands of independent sellers from 45 countries around the world.

Critical to Alibris’ success is the ability to ensure the accuracy and currency of its inventory of more than 60 million product SKUs. Registered Alibris sellers can alter prices, add/remove inventory, and update other aspects of their inventory records on a 24x7 basis. During a typical day, this can result in up to 10 million changes to the Alibris inventory system. This massive change rate creates an extraordinary transactional load on the storage platform.As transaction volume soared, Alibris determined that its previous, direct-attached storage environment would not scale in performance or capacity. The online bookseller also recognized that it needed the flexibility to adapt quickly to changes in business needs. 3PAR’s highly virtualized InServ Storage Server was the perfect fit to meet Alibris' needs.

“Virtualized storage enables users to achieve massive levels of consolidation and drive dramatic cost savings,” said Steve Norall, Senior Analyst and Consultant at Taneja Group. “Web-based businesses, whose storefronts are critically dependent on performance and on-demand scalability for a positive customer experience, should carefully evaluate consolidating onto Utility Storage.”

3PAR Inc.

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