Sports car maker Ferrari has installed a storage area network (San) and consolidated servers after problems with storage management delayed car production.
Each car is unique and assembled according to customer requirements, so delays occurred because it was impossible to ensure all components were available when needed.
"Ferrari had an ever-increasing number of servers with direct-attach storage, and we were having a problem managing these," said Alessandro Sala, IT architectural manager for Ferrari-Maserati Group.
"One part of the storage might have been one per cent in use and 99 per cent free, another the opposite, but we could not swap. Typically, 50 per cent of spare capacity was being lost."
The new San-based architecture, chosen in September last year, is based on switches from Brocade, with IBM Shark enterprise storage servers and pSeries Unix servers.
A second data centre, about 1km away, was added, connected via a synchronous link. Each site now has a San equipped with an IBM Shark F800 storage and p670 Unix server, plus dual redundant Brocade switches.
The larger site has dual Brocade Silkworm 12000 64-port systems and holds a IBM 3494 tape library, with the smaller using dual Silkworm 3800 16-port switches.
"There is now virtually zero unusable disk space and data is seen by all servers so management is much simpler," said Sala. In the process, nine servers were reduced to three, providing lower running costs.
The software, dual switching and bi-directional connection now gives Ferrari almost instant failover from either system.
"We can now run batch jobs daily and we have better control right from purchase of components to car delivery," said Sala. "The system guarantees no downtime."
The system is a work in progress. Sala said the dual Silkworm 3800s were near capacity and would soon need upgrading again.
Other plans include full Local area network-free back-up and recovery, addition of tape library redundancy, and consolidation of the AS/400 storage into the San before the end of the year.
The nearby Maserati plant's IT facility will likewise become a San-based capability in September, and the company is considering a link between the two.
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