Database Takes Toll on NAS

This article can also be found in the Premium Editorial Download: Storage magazine: Email storage lessons learned from Citigroup:

The North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) generates a lot of data managing traffic on the North Dallas Tollway and President George Bush Turnpike--about 1 million Oracle 9i transactions per day in its main toll tag reading application. It also processes 1.2 million "violation" images per day--digital shots of cars passing through unattended toll booths, with 15 and 30 images per car.

All that data lives on NetApp filers--four in all, including a NearStore R200 for the violation images, older F760 and F840s and a FAS940 for the Oracle 9i.

Initially, NTTA connected its Oracle 9i server to the 940 just like it did with its other filers--as a network share over Ethernet. But performance was only OK that way, reports Shannon Burnett, NTTA's MIS manager. Since then, they've attached the server directly to the 940 over Fibre Channel, and performance has been much better.

Managing the NAS and Fibre-attached NetApp storage, meanwhile, is transparent to Burnett. "It's has been kind of seamless," he reports. If a filer were to go down, "it's a major ordeal," but because of the systems phone-home, "NetApp usually knows about a drive going down before we do."

This was first published in July 2004

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