EDB Business Partner

Norway's largest data center has standardized on storage technology from McData

April 8, 2004

3 Min Read
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Norways largest data center has standardized on storage technology from McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA) to support a major SAN consolidation project and its massive ongoing data growth.

Oslo-based EDB Business Partner ASA develops and operates IT solutions for banking, finance, and telecom customers throughout the Nordic region. Not surprisingly, the firm’s data needs are going through the roof, with storage growth expected to reach 100 percent this year alone.

The company’s primary data center in the Oslo area bears the brunt of this data explosion, storing over 200 terabytes of online data and a further two petabytes on other storage media, primarily tape.

In addition to all this, EDB also offers customized software products in its role as an Application Service Provider. Of course, its clients expect 24x7 service.

The challenge for EDB was finding a technology infrastructure capable of handling all this. Previously, EDB relied on five separate SANs, although the company realized some time ago that it needed to consolidate them into a single SAN. This had to be capable of accommodating a broad range of customers of varying sizes, availability priorities, and data security needs.So, in 2002, EDB standardized on a wide range of McData Fibre Channel kit, including Intrepid Directors and Sphereon Fabric Switches. The company also installed EMC’s Connetrix Manager, which is EMC’s version of McData’s Enterprise Fabric Connectivity Manager.

As well as being implemented at EDB’s primary data center, the McData kit was also implemented at the company’s backup site, which is located some 26 kilometers away.

But wherever there are winners, there are also losers. EDB chose the McData solution over kit from its previous supplier Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), which declined to provide comment for this article. “The scaleability of our Brocade legacy devices wasn’t keeping up with the growth of our customer’s data,” says Børre Christian Børresen, EDB IT operations’ manager of storage/SAN infrastructure and services.

“We had to schedule Sunday downtime to add ports and complete firmware upgrades. With the McData solution, we’re able to do all these things without compromising our customers’ access to their data and ASP applications.

“The SAN is very easy to manage, particularly when connecting new disk systems and servers.”A number of European firms are consolidating their storage infrastructures at the moment, according to Georg Bartz, vice president of EMEA sales and services at McData: “Our European customers are aggressively pursuing IT consolidation strategies to better utilize storage assets and cut costs.

“At the same time, they seek to take their storage to the next performance level to consistently meet service-level agreements and field the best answers to business continuity and disaster recovery challenges.”

Børresen believes that greater efficiency is the main benefit of standardizing on McData. “The efficiency part is the main thing here," he notes. "McData can give us the benefits of easy use...

“The staff are happy with the solution and I don’t need more staff to do management on the SAN system and the disk systems, so that’s enough for me.”

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-gen Data Center Forum0

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