Merton Council in south west London is using storage area network (San) technology to save nearly £1m to consolidate storage from its servers and overcome back-up and recovery bottlenecks.
The 5TB StorageTek San has helped cut back-up times by 45 per cent, with the main back-up, which previously lasted from Saturday morning to Monday afternoon, now cut to 10 hours.
The council expects to save £960,000 over five years, with much of the saving coming from reduced lease costs with migration away from a mainframe to the San with new servers.
"Two years ago we conducted an internal audit. Some servers were 80 to 90 per cent full using partitioning while others were only 30 per cent. The problem was, we couldn't pool them," said Richard Warren, Merton's service delivery manager.
The council's audit revealed that 45 per cent of the 1.3TB of direct attached storage was unused, while some 70 servers needed more disk capacity.
"Initially we targeted the critical ones with data cleansing but then set about to consolidate storage onto a San," said Warren.
The first stage was installation of the shared storage system using StorageTek D-Series disk arrays and fibre-connected L-Series tape library with LTO2 tapes.
Since then, some 25 servers, mostly Windows NT-based, have had their data storage moved to the San. The installation is supported by StorageTek value-added reseller TriSys.
"The system is so easy to implement," said Warren. "Just point and shoot and the user does not even know there has been a changeover. So we have migrated more than expected by now."
As a result, the 5TB San is already four-fifths full and will expand to 7TB next month.
Other benefits already realised include server recovery cut to two hours and reduced overall downtime.
Next year a second site will be connected for disaster recovery. And in the next two years there will be further migration to the San as end-of-life servers are replaced.
Warren said the council would also be adding better back-up and performance statistics using its Legato management software.
The borough, which covers 14.7 square miles, accommodates nearly 200,000 people and provides 70,000 jobs in 7,500 businesses.
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