The SAN Touch
To take full advantage of its consolidated infrastructure, Advance Transformer added a SAN. The addition of its XP1024 SAN means that most
organizational storage has been moved from a direct-attached storage to a
centralized SAN model.
With the old racks, the IS organization had to have a separate storage device for every server — generally RAID controllers and SCSI drives. As the hardware aged, it became harder to support. Nowadays, the blades are attached directly to the SAN via a Fibre Channel card in the blade.
“Having the SAN makes it easy to move storage resources around and have capacity available,” said Tomei. “It also simplified backup, recovery, and disaster recovery.”
As recently as a few years ago, backing up individual servers required a window of 12 to 14 hours. Today, it takes six hours or less to back up everything over a Gb Ethernet backbone.
What about a migration to HP Integrity servers now that the HP 9000 is basically at the end of its development life? No further upgrades will be made to the system as the OEM gradually phases its user base to HP-UX.
Advance Transformer has no plans to move to this new platform. As it recently invested in several HP 9000s, it is planning to squeeze another five to seven years of useful life out of this hardware. And with its consolidation efforts reaping big dividends, Tomei sees no need to move.
“There is no doubt we have experienced big savings through virtualization and consolidation,” said Tomei. “I can do a lot more today with fewer people. Now that we have our data in real time, it takes us one hour to close out the month, compared to two weeks during our mainframe days.