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Storage Virtualization in Action: Gwinnett County Improves Storage Flexibility Through IBM Solution


Local Georgia Government Shrinks Downtime and Improves Flexibility and Data Protection Through IBM’s Storage Virtualization Solution

ARMONK, NY - Feb 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Georgia’s Gwinnett County is using a virtualized information infrastructure that is enabling them to reduce overall storage costs, respond quicker to increased storage needs, and dramatically improve the speed of data migration processes by up to four times.

Gwinnett County stores critical tax information and government records on their systems, which have recently become accessible to the public online. Storage is needed 24 hours a day so negotiating outage windows with internal users can be painful and with no visibility into scheduled downtime, users outside the organization expect information to be available on demand, as needed. With a continuous increase in traffic to the Web site and new applications available online, it became crucial for Gwinnett County to have a reliable information infrastructure that targeted zero downtime, strong data protection, easy migration and that can operate around the clock.

“Incorporating virtualization into our storage infrastructure was exactly what we needed,” said Phillip Wilson, Gwinnett County contract IT architect. “If someone needs more storage, I simply open the SAN Volume Controller console and increase their storage allocation. Storage management with the IBM SAN Volume Controller is a storage administrator’s dream come true.”

Knowing their needs had shifted towards a more flexible solution, Gwinnett County turned to IBM and IBM Business Partner Cpak to provide a consistent and dependable information infrastructure that is easily upgraded with no disruption to applications. Gwinnett County implemented the IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller (SVC) as the keystone of their storage virtualization environment, along with the IBM System Storage DS4800 and DS4700 disk arrays as the backbone of their tiered storage infrastructure. Both Intel architecture-based servers and IBM System p 570 and System p 690 servers, which host the county’s SAP applications, were attached to the virtualized information infrastructure.

IBM’s storage virtualization solution is a key tool in allowing customers to improve the energy efficiency of their data centers:

* SVC is designed to migrate data from older to newer disk systems without disruption to applications, so it helps customer start that migration immediately and disconnect their older, less efficient storage much more quickly;
* SVC is designed to simplify implementation of a tiered storage infrastructure and improve performance of lower tier storage, moving data without disruption -- which makes it easy to match data types with the right storage, and to move data when requirements change. Together, these abilities of SVC make it easy to blend different types of storage for a lower overall energy footprint; and
* SVC helps increase the utilization of storage and reduce requirements for additional storage in the future. SVC is designed to pool storage volumes from IBM and non-IBM storage systems into a single reservoir of capacity for centralized management, helping to improve storage utilization and reduce storage growth rates. This ability can reduce the total amount of storage hardware required, which helps reduce the energy usage of the storage configuration.

Storage Virtualization in Action is an ongoing IBM Storage campaign to showcase some of the cross-industry examples of how customers are using IBM’s storage virtualization solution in real-world environments.

To read further details on the storage virtualization solution implemented at Gwinnett County, visit and click on ’Case Studies’ to review the case study that has been developed.


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