Honda Motor Europe is about to make its first upgrade to a disaster recovery storage area network (San) it finished implementing in September.
The subsidiary of the global manufacturer of motorbikes, Formula One racing engines and cars will add more storage to the San as it moves from a Novell directory system to Microsoft Active Directory.
The upgrade follows a successful disaster recovery assessment where all Honda Motor Europe departments tested their applications over a weekend last November.
The company built the new system to comply with corporate governance requirements and to be able to recover data easily while ensuring business continuity in the event of a disaster.
Honda wanted the San to cover two data centres and to be extensible.
Mervyn Eyles, customer support manager at Honda Motor Europe, told vnunet.com: "We had to do better than doing tape backups which we put off-site.
"Tape backup and Cold [computer output to laser disk] storage on standby are fairly cheap and functional, but I'm a fan of the simplicity of mirroring."
The network Honda implemented was based on equipment from Dell, EMC and McData. It uses two EMC Clariion CX400 Fibre Channel storage units, with EMC MirrorView replication software. McData provided the switches, with Dell coordinating the whole project.
The primary data centre is at Honda's headquarters at Langley in Berkshire, with remote backup at the company's training institute at Poyle in Surrey.
The system cost £300,000 overall. "We ended up with a far more functional solution than we could originally have afforded, with synchronous replication," said Eyles.
Following six months of implementation the system was in place by September, and even yielded a pleasant surprise. "We were concerned about performance initially, that all the data backup might impact network performance.
"But instead the caching algorithm is better than having to go to disk," said Eyles.
The next step for Honda is to put more disk capacity on its San to have both Novell and Microsoft data volumes operating simultaneously, he added.
The company is also considering replicating the disaster recovery system at its data centre in Ghent, Belgium, which uses IBM Cold storage.
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