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Cummins Inc.

Power systems company Cummins Inc. was seeing growing mounds of data starting to eclipse what its backup environment could handle -- so it pulled the plug on its direct-attached SCSI tape libraries and moved to SAN-based backup.

At the end of 2001, Cummins's storage environment was approaching 17 Tbytes, and its IT staff was straining to run a full backup in less than a week. "Our backup was running literally around the clock," says Art Bitts, a senior systems engineer at Cummins.

Based in Columbus, Ind., Cummins designs and manufactures electrical power generation systems. The company, which has 24,900 employees worldwide, had $5.7 billion in sales in 2001.

It has about 300 servers located at its Indiana headquarters and nearby manufacturing plants, most running Windows NT and a few running Sun Solaris or Compaq Tru64. Those servers host a mix of applications, including Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) databases, Web servers, file shares, and enterprise resource planning (ERP).

The bulk of its storage -- which is now approaching 25 Tbytes -- is in a pair of Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) Lightning 9960s, plus a 9980V that it recently brought online. The arrays and servers are attached to a Fibre Channel SAN with a total of about 370 ports, a combination of Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) SilkWorm 2800 (1-Gbit/s) and 3800 (2-Gbit/s) switches, plus one 2-Gbit/s 12000. Chris Price, Cummins's computing services director, explains why it bought the 12000: "The interconnections between switches were taking a lot of the ports, so we adopted a hub-and-spoke approach with the 12000."

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