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OurStage Beefs Up Systems and Storage for Music Web Site

OurStage calls itself "the largest independent music Web site on the Internet" and carries the work of more than 80,000 independent musicians. They can post their tunes on OurStage's new music discovery site and enter themselves into contests for weekly prizes aimed at furthering their musical careers, such as appearing on Starbucks' MusicMakers series. As a music media startup company that began in late 2006 and went live with its Internet content the following March, OurStage also understands the growing pains of being a startup -- and the necessity of deploying storage architectures that are capable of supporting its growing business.

"We didn't have much money when we started the business, and we began it all on a single Intel and Linux-based white box server," says Mark Niedzielski, infrastructure manager for OurStage. White box servers are non-branded systems that are built from generic server parts and cost substantially less than their branded counterparts. "As we matured as a business, the requirements and the demands for our systems also grew," he says. "This has caused us to take the pieces of our systems that are the most stressed and to replace them with higher performing hardware and software."

In considering revisions to its processing and storage infrastructure, OurStage had several key objectives:

-- It wanted to improve overall system performance and reliability for its users, who demanded instantaneous Web-based response.

-- Like many startups, OurStage had a lean staff. This meant that Niedzielski was responsible for most of the technical setup and trouble-shooting. With the Web site (and its following) growing, there was simply no time for downtime. Problem resolution had to be swift and effective.

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