12 Dec 2011 Longmont - Dot Hill Systems Corp., a provider of Unified Virtual Storage and SAN storage solutions, has been selected by HTA, a multidisciplinary architectural and graphics design consultancy, to underpin its move to virtualization with Dot Hill's AssuredSAN series of networked RAID arrays.
Based in London and Edinburgh, HTA has a multitude of in-house design disciplines and a growing number of award-winning residential and urban design contracts in place. Its IT infrastructure supports graphic-intensive applications such as Bentley MicroStation V8i, Autodesk Revit Structure Suite and Adobe Creative Suite, which more than 100 designers rely on to run smoothly day in day out in order to serve the company's clients. Most of HTA's large volume of CAD designs must be retained for at least 20 years, and as such, data storage integrity over time is vital to the consultancy's business.
During 2010, HTA realised that an upgrade of its IT systems was needed as its iSCSI-based SAN was starting to fail; the team decided to turn to independent storage and virtualization reseller Krome Technologies to help identify the most effective solution for its planned refresh. After reviewing a number of options, Dot Hill's AssuredSAN series of networked RAID arrays was selected because of its combination of high performance, affordability and ease of scalability which, together, made it ideally suited to HTA's need for a flexible and virtualized environment.
The Dot Hill AssuredSAN systems provide a future-proof foundation for the virtual server estate at HTA thanks to their ability to scale in both capacity and performance with complete re-use of the initial investment. These arrays now host 17 terabytes of live production data on SAS drives for performance and reliability, with Ethernet providing the new data centre backbone. As part of the data centre rebuild, HTA re-purposed its legacy SAN as tier two storage, providing backup-to-disk for the VMware hosts using Veeam which is then archived to tape using Symantec Backup Exec, intelligent back-up and replication software that allows application-based snapshots to be taken from the SAN.
This combination has not only strengthened HTA's storage and back-up strategy; but also has improved the company's productivity. Rapid network access to CAD design files is crucial for the design teams and the move to a new iSCSI-based SAN with the Dot Hill AssuredSAN 2332 has enabled a significant improvement in productivity as Paul Leask, IT manager at HTA, explained: "With our legacy SAN, very large files were taking up to ten minutes to open across the network and that would drive anyone insane. After the move to Dot Hill we brought that down to just seconds; that is impressive by any standards. In fact I have received excellent feedback on the performance of our new SAN from many colleagues since we implemented the new systems."
The full certification of all Dot Hill AssuredSAN arrays with VMware ESX and vSphere and its seamless interoperability with Veeam's backup software provided HTA with added peace of mind at every stage of the deployment.