Raytheon's eCenter Goes for EMC

Raytheon's secure services center opts for storage hardware and software from EMC

June 22, 2001

3 Min Read
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Data security is on everyones minds these days. Hardly a week goes by without a report about a security breach at some data center, resulting in the exposure of sensitive information, such as credit card numbers or account information. Securing data both physically and in the electronic sense is not always easy to achieve, however.

Catering to customers that Steve McCann, director of business development at Raytheon Company’s (NYSE: RTNA, RTNB) eCenter Technologies, calls "sensitive to security concerns," eCenter selected EMC Corp.as the first storage solution provider for the data center. According to McCann, that decision was partly based on EMC's standing in the marketplace and the natural appeal EMC storage has to the high-end customers eCenter is targeting.

The eCenter facility, described by some as a fortress, is a repurposed building that Raytheon previously used for processing classified data from U.S. Government intelligence satellites. Features like 12-inch-thick walls and special network conduit that prevents electronic eavesdropping and tampering, provides the facility with a strong foundation of physical security.

Added to the physical security of the building is a mix of the data security provided by the EMC software and best practices that has enabled eCenter to be qualified under the EMC Proven E-Infostructure program. That program ensures that all the processes and procedures required to maintain a high level of data security and integrity are in place and working, Raytheon says.

For example, eCenter uses EMC’s TimeFinder and other data management software that enables the creation of separately addressable data volumes, along with the ability to access current data. That combination of features solves the problem of competing workloads, and, combined with mirroring and the Symmetrix Remote Data Facility, enhances the ability to maintain high levels of data recovery and business continuity capabilities.In addition to tight security, eCenter also maintains flexibility for customers. "Storage configurations are tailored to the needs of individual customers," McCann told us. "The configuration might be a SAN [storage area network] for a customer with complex requirements, or NAS [network attached storage]. Or, it might be simply JBOD [just a bunch of disks] for customers with simple requirements."

Raytheon's mix-and-match approach to storage configuration is in keeping with the philosophy at EMC. "Our view is that the configuration of storage as SAN, NAS, or server-attached JBOD is just a matter of connectivity options," Steve Alfieris, vice president and general manager of Federal Systems at EMC, told us.

The current EMC-supplied storage resources at eCenter include Symmetrix enterprise storage systems, interconnected with an EMC Connectrix switch. The installation uses EMC's E-Infostructure architecture and EMC TimeFinder software.

"We have seven terabits of capacity at present," McCann said, "and will expand that as customer requirements dictate." McCann declined, however, to disclose the total dollar value of the contract, citing on-going expansion negotiations.

"We see government and business looking for end-to-end solutions like those being provided by Raytheon's eCenter," Alfieris said, citing the combination of EMC software and hardware being used in the center. "Raytheon also brings a wealth of best-practice experience in the security area, and the features of our TimeFinder software fit with those requirements." Services like those provided by eCenter represent an emerging market, from EMC's perspective.Adam Couture, who follows some elements of the service provider market at

Gartner/Dataquest, said "Raytheon is in an entirely different market than the one most service providers are trying to crack, due to the security aspects. They are providing a complete computing environment that is highly secure, not just a storage service." Thus, it is difficult to estimate the scope of the market eCenter is targeting.

So, even while eCenter is aiming at a niche of the market that is hard to quantify (and one that might be characterized as either security-conscious or paranoid, depending on your perspective), storage networking is at the core of what they are building for that type of customer.

— Ralph Barker, Editor in Chief, Byte and Switch http://www.byteandswitch.com

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