Worldwide piping distributor deploys a fast, flexible and efficient storage infrastructure with a combination of DataCore and Xiotech
DataCore Software, the industry's premier provider of storage virtualization software, recently announced that ISCO Industries, a worldwide polyethylene pipe distributor, has implemented DataCore's newest software release, SANsymphony- V. The company is running nearly fully virtual after implementing DataCore and VMware to virtualize the majority of its desktops, servers and storage infrastructure. Deployed in combination with Xiotech storage, DataCore's SANsymphony-V added a new level of flexibility and productivity and most importantly it addressed the persistent performance problems as well as the capacity management issues that ISCO Industries faced with its previously existing storage area network (SAN).
"Prior to implementing SANsymphony-V, the performance and latency issues we faced were hurting our efficiency in many different areas," stated Kim Byram, director of business and information systems at ISCO Industries. "Now, with DataCore and Xiotech running in tandem, we have seen our latency issues completely disappear. Plus our speed of backups and response time in generating reports has been cut drastically. More efficiency means more systems uptime and no more systems slowdown because you no longer have processes and backups running during somebody's working hours."
Four years ago, ISCO deployed a SAN from Compellent (acquired by Dell) to cope with the storage growth the company was experiencing as it virtualized its entire network. However, ISCO kept hitting a proverbial performance "wall" and system administrators would have to scramble to add storage space because the Compellent SAN was falsely reporting that it had maxed-out its capacity.
When DataCore was deployed on Xiotech, the IT team migrated data over to the new system, which was thin-provisioned through DataCore storage virtualization software. "We went from nine or ten terabytes of used space down to six terabytes of available space just by doing the migration," notes T.J. Duncan, system administrator at ISCO. "In terms of capacity management and higher utilization rates, we have seen enormous benefits and now we have means of recovering disk space without having to create new volumes all the time."
Today, DataCore's SANsymphony-V serves as ISCO's de facto SAN, and is responsible for managing and serving storage across the entire infrastructure. This enables the company to get the most out of its infrastructure with its software-based storage virtualization approach. "With our existing SAN, things were coming to a creeping halt on our network," explained Byram. "And when we moved everything over to the very reliable Xiotech platform, we learned that we actually had a lot less data than what was being reported by our previous SAN."
Blazing Fast Performance
"Our performance has gone through the roof," continued Duncan. "It was not unusual to see 10, 15, or 20 milliseconds of latency on a read prior to DataCore and Xiotech. And that was on volumes that were dedicated to Tier 1 storage only. Now it is one or two milliseconds, tops, on most of our transactions. Moreover, reports from the ERP system are literally blazing through – they hardly take any time at all compared to what we were used to."
With DataCore's caching software and the high-speed Xiotech running in tandem, system administrators have seen more than a 35 percent increase in speed and responsiveness from the company's terminal and mail servers. Now that the DataCore-Xiotech solution now manages 13 terabytes of total data, ISCO started seeing the following benefits:
- Cost containment – DataCore has saved ISCO at least $100,000 because they were able to re-purpose six existing servers supporting VMware ESX and use them to create the DataCore disaster recovery SAN server, as well as ESX servers for disaster recovery, and the DataCore VDI server.
- Risk reduction – For the first time, the UNIX system which is the company's "bread and butter," is now fully redundant. The entire system and all of the data is synchronized in real-time to the disaster recovery site, where a second UNIX server is maintained. Before, if ISCO lost its data, it would have taken the company 16-24 hours to get the main accounting and sales system back up and running. Now, the company can do this in minutes.
- Improved productivity – Productivity improvements are tied to the better responsiveness of the terminal servers and virtual desktops being supported. All servers have had 10-20 percent improvement in performance just by putting in the SANsymphony-V and Xiotech solution.
VDI, Servers, and Storage: End-to-End Virtualization Reduces Costs and Risks
According to ISCO, the company is nearly fully virtualized. It uses terminal servers as well as a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), depending on the users and their needs. VMware vSphere is used both for servers and desktops. Four VMware hosts run VMware ESX 4.1 at the production data center. There are 32 VMs running from that. The VMs comprise servers dealing with ISCO's phone system, terminal servers, a web monitoring server (NIMBUS), and file sharing servers.
DataCore storage virtualization software runs both on both the production SAN and the disaster recovery SAN. Asynchronous replication is used to replicate UNIX system data remotely, and the company plans to embrace synchronous replication in the near future for added business continuity. DataCore's newest release, SANsymphony-V, is deployed on another server to support the VDI environment. VDI consists of two hosts and 20 VMs. Ten virtual desktops are supported as well as 8 terminal servers in a load-balanced pool. Between 15 and 18 people per server are using VDI at any given point in time.
DataCore Software reseller partner The Mirazon Group is responsible for the implementation at ISCO Industries. The Mirazon Group serves as a trusted IT advisor to its client base. The firm's expertise spans both IT consulting and solutions integration. Mirazon puts virtualization at the heart of every deployment it undertakes.
About ISCO Industries
ISCO Industries is a worldwide polyethylene pipe distributor. ISCO Industries has 400 total employees, with 100 residing at the corporate headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. ISCO also manufacturers fittings and rents equipment necessary for the pipe it distributes. The company has 27 locations, 25 of which are in the US and run from Washington State all the way east to Florida. The company also has an office in Canada as well as one in Australia. For more information, visit www.isco-pipe.com.
About DataCore Software
DataCore Software is the industry's premier provider of storage virtualization software. Its software-as infrastructure platform solves the big problem stalling virtualization initiatives by eliminating the storage-related barriers that make virtualization too difficult and too expensive. For more information, visit www.datacore.com.
SOURCE: DataCore Software