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Show-me state shows how to consolidate storage

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Open-systems storage growth
By the time the open-systems consolidation began, following Governor Blunt's election in 2004, "we had just a smattering of open systems in the data center, maybe a couple of dozen," says Carter. That amounted to approximately 12TB of storage.

The initial couple of dozen servers have grown to more than 500 consolidated servers, approximately 150 of which are virtual. When the consolidation began, the CIO's office had identified 1,400 servers. Many consolidated servers run as IBM server blades in the central data center, while others run as rack-mounted Dell Inc. servers. The standard server is a quad-core, dual-processor, dual-sockets machine, although a few four-processor, quad-core servers have been added.

For the open systems, the data center brought in IBM's SAN Volume Controller (SVC) and set up a SAN behind SVC. Storage currently consists of two IBM DS8000 arrays and five IBM DS4700 arrays, reports David Kassabaum, the data center's internal consultant (which is a state-employee position).

The DS8000 arrays are used for mainframe and open-systems storage with one DS8000 used exclusively for open systems. One DS8000, with 25TB of Fibre Channel (FC) storage consisting of 146GB drives, handles mainly mainframe storage with only 1.5TB of open-systems storage. The other DS8000,

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with 50TB of FC disk, handles only open-systems data. The rest of the storage is divided among the five DS4700 arrays, three designated for SATA only and two for FC. The five DS4700 arrays are used exclusively for open-systems storage.

With the consolidation, data center storage has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 25%. The growth comes mainly from the open systems, which run Windows. "We haven't added new mainframe applications, although the existing applications continue to grow," says Carter.

To accommodate the open-systems storage traffic, the data center boosted the network fabric. It brought in two Cisco Systems Inc. 9513 switches, increasing the port count to 300 ports, notes Kassabaum.

This was first published in November 2008

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