Alcan Singen, a German manufacturer of aluminum products and by-products, has implemented a flexible virtual infrastructure that combines DataCore storage area network virtualization and VMware.
In order to gain better management control of its IT resources, Alcan Singen decided to consolidate two local storage networks into one company-wide storage area network (SAN), providing centralized storage management and provisioning using DataCore’s SANsymphony.
The DataCore virtualization suite provides Alcan with thin provisioning, which is the ability to automate capacity management to applications. By using thin provisioning, Alcan can use its available data storage resources better and also achieve better load balancing of capacity usage across the company-wide SAN.
Alcan has installed SANsymphony on two standard servers in separate data centers. These servers have become the storage domain servers (SDS), which centrally control and redundantly protect the total data storage complex via six fiber channel switches. Through these storage servers, Alcan now has at its disposal advanced enterprise features and services such as synchronous mirroring, snapshots, thin provisioning and auto failover. Moreover, these features and services are virtualized across the network.
The storage devices were adopted from the existing system and were easily integrated into the new SAN.
With DataCore’s thin-provisioning technology, Alcan has significantly decreased the manual intervention and administration overhead that used to be required for storage management, helping relieve the burden on IT staff.
We are more than satisfied with the end result. We have created a complete virtual system environment within a very short period of time at minimum cost and operating expense, which offers us high availability and flexibility and lowers our administrative work, commented Dieter Buche, system administrator at Alcan. With a comparatively low investment, we benefit from enterprise features that not only integrate and optimize existing resources but free us from vendor lock-in, saving expenses today and into the future.