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Granite Telecommunications Optimizes Existing IT Resources with File Virtualization Solution from Microsoft and Attune Systems
Attune Systems, Inc., a provider of enterprise-class file virtualization solutions, today announced that Granite Telecommunications, the sixth largest telecommunications firm in the country and one of the fastest-growing companies in New England, has selected the Microsoft Windows-based file virtualization solution from Attune to optimize its existing storage environment.

Facing a triple data growth in the coming year, the Granite IT team knew they needed an intelligent, automated way to analyze and manage their rapidly growing environment. We thought we had no choice but to blindly go and ask for more storage, commented Brian McStowe, system administrator at Granite Telecommunications. Once the Attune Maestro collected data for just a few weeks, we knew we had already obtained the ROI from it. I honestly think it's worth every penny.

The first contact with the Maestro File Manager was through the Maestro Symphony Reporting, which automatically discovered and provided detailed reports on the current state of Granite's files and storage volumes. It also showed the status of the company's 40-plus distributed Microsoft Windows-based servers and included information on the types of files currently stored on Granite's systems, as well as the number of files not accessed or modified in the last three, six, and 12 months.

Granite's implementation of Maestro File Manager took just a few hours. It was surprisingly easy. It required no downtime and made no performance impact on our production environment, said McStowe. It was very simple getting started. The system just went out and found our storage and started collecting data. We never even knew it was there. The biggest time-saver we plan on getting from Attune is the consolidation of data. In our current environment, data is all over our network and it can take some time to track down. With Maestro's global namespace, we will know exactly where to look at all times.

Dr. Claude Lorenson, who heads Microsoft's Storage Group Product Management division, explains why the Microsoft partnership with Attune benefits customers like Granite. Because Attune has built the Maestro file virtualization solution on a Windows platform, they natively support the full SMB protocol, not just CIFS. That means they easily fit into our customers existing environments without compromising functionality, stability, security, or requiring either network configuration changes or software agents on clients, servers, or domain controllers.

McStowe recognizes that easy and reliable file migration is a great advantage of the file virtualization solution. The biggest thing Maestro does is how well it just moves data transparently on the back-end. We won't have to take a system offline to copy data from Tier 1 to Tier 2. Attune helps us do that on the fly. Being a 24x7 shop, it's almost impossible to get downtime for that kind of work, he noted. It gives us the option to develop a tiered storage infrastructure with important data residing on our expensive storage while other data is sent transparently, on the back-end, to less expensive storage. Before Attune, our archiving processes would have involved much more expensive disk storage.

McStowe is also implementing Maestro's integrated file virtualization and global namespace functionality. This will help simplify operations and save time by allowing end users to point to the same file share to get their data regardless of which underlying storage tier or volume currently contains their files. Maestro is a Microsoft Windows-based appliance with native support for Microsoft technologies including Common Internet File Services (CIFS), Server Message Blocks (SMB), Active Directory, Opportunity Locking (Oplock), Microsoft Cluster Server, and Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS).

With the cost of running a data center constantly on the rise, getting the most out of what you already have will be mandatory," said McStowe. "Companies need to keep their data longer. Without an intelligent, real-time understanding of how their systems are performing and how the data is changing, buying new storage to house all their archiving needs becomes impractical. We think file virtualization is a must-have for years to come.

We have been impressed with Granites progressive, leading-edge approach to optimizing their unstructured file data and resources, said Daniel Liddle, Attunes vice president of marketing. Their thorough assessment of the technology, and subsequent implementation, allow them to take a leadership position in file virtualization in the telecommunications market. They are fully leveraging Attunes unique, gradual, low-risk deployment methodology in a fashion that reflects their attention to detail and clear orientation around customer satisfaction.

Published Wednesday, August 15, 2007 5:38 AM by David Marshall
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