Greenpeace Gets Big UK SAN

Its UK branch implements a 2-terabyte storage area network in its London data center

March 24, 2004

2 Min Read
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The U.K. branch of Greenpeace has implemented a 2-terabyte storage area network (SAN) in its main London data center to support its activism. The group is now migrating critical data onto the new system.

Donations are key for Greenpeace, a non-profit group with a quarter of a million U.K. supporters on its IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) DB2 database. The database, along with other applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server, is now being migrated over to the SAN, which replaces two aging Novell Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) servers.

The ability to handle emails is also a major consideration for Greenpeace U.K. Since 1986, the organization has relied on email to support its campaigns, which are often geographically dispersed. In addition to campaign management, email is increasingly the contact medium of choice for inquiries about Greenpeace U.K.s activities.

“The Novell servers, although they are wonderful, have been there a long time -- they are quite old, and there are capacity constraints,” says Steve Thomson, finance and IT director at Greenpeace U.K.

The SAN, which uses a FAStT600 storage array from IBM Corp., sits behind Greenpeace U.K.’s infrastructure of Linux and Microsoft Corp. Windows 2000-based servers. Greenpeace is currently working with Linux specialist Ardenta.com Ltd. on the SAN project, with migration from the Novell servers expected to be completed in the next two to three months.A key selling point of the SAN was its flexibility, according to Thomson: “It met our existing needs and will also be flexible enough to meet any future needs over the coming years. The SAN is primarily about the amount of storage flexibility that we can apply to any server."

Not surprisingly, Greenpeace is planning to have the Novell servers refurbished so that they can be used again.

Greenpeace usually works with an organization called Cybercycle to recycle the equipment. “Some of the equipment parts get sent to the third world," says Thomson. "Also it stops it all being dumped into landfill.”

Novell did not respond to a request for comment.

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

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