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City of Pforzheim

The municipal authority in the German city of Pforzheim -- founded in about 90 A.D., with roughly 100,000 citizens today -- saw its data storage volumes were exploding. So it needed to either crack open the storage unit again and insert more disks, or find another way around the problem.

It's a familiar headache to hundreds of system administrators, but the IT team at this local authority decided that enough was enough. [Ed. note: Or, in German, Genug!] Here's why: Pforzheim was not only managing the authorities' own storage systems, but also the computer center in the new Town Hall that monitors consumer settlement accounting, the regional information system for the city and the Department of Works, book purchasing and lending at the City Library, online theater ticket sales, the PC network in the schools, and the Municipal Authority's Internet portal. All in all, 15 employees look after about 1,700 workstations.

"The management of the data generated between all these systems was getting out of hand," says Bernhard Enderes, manager of data processing at the human resources department of the City of Pforzheim.

The city's 70-Gbyte storage memory had become insufficient; it needed 110 Gbytes. That meant the backup tape library, with a total capacity of roughly 1 terabyte, would also become too small. Furthermore, data backup via the network (LAN) impeded on the backup performance. "We needed to integrate a larger tape library in such a way that the storage and backup procedures could be carried out separately from the LAN traffic," says Enderes.

They decided to build a SAN to decouple the storage from each server and make it available as a central pool of capacity giving them more freedom to divvy up the resources as needed.

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