Virtualization Technology News and Information
Anite Maximizes Customer Satisfaction and Financial Returns with LeftHand Networks’ Virtualized SAN Appliance
LeftHand Networks®, the leading provider of highly available iSCSI SANs, today announced that Anite, an IT services and system integration company, has deployed LeftHand Networks Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA) in two of its data centers using a VMware virtual server environment.

Based in the United Kingdom, Anite is an international software and solutions company whose primary business is the provision of industry-specific solutions for wireless telecoms, public sector and travel markets.

Historically Anite has had little islands of IT, said Jeremy Moss, group IT director for Anite. We run some fairly standard business applications, including customer support systems.

The organization had too many servers and disparate storage silos. With so many servers and storage silos, the data centers were too complex and inefficient, noted Moss. We needed to streamline our operations for both cost and efficiency, and decided to move to VMware for server virtualization.

With a virtualized environment, the existing silo-type storage infrastructure was no longer feasible. Anite wanted to implement the high availability features of VMware Infrastructure 3 that require the resiliency and data protection that comes with highly available storage. Server virtualization gave Anite potential server resiliency advantages but it required storage shared between the servers.

Anite identified LeftHand Networks and its Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) for VMware® ESX, a full-featured, virtual iSCSI SAN, as a potential answer. Powered by LeftHand Networks SAN/iQ® storage software, the VSA provides complete SAN management functionality through the VMware ESX Server. By virtualizing the internal disk capacity of the VMware ESX host server and clustering the storage across multiple VMware ESX hosts, LeftHands VSA provides data protection and high availability and eliminates the need for external shared storage, which is otherwise necessary to implement the advanced features of VMware Infrastructure.

LeftHands VSA includes SAN features such as thin provisioning, which means that applications dont require their total storage capacity installed and allocated up front. An evaluation version of the VSA can be downloaded from the LeftHand Networks or VMware web-sites and installed as a virtual machine on VMware ESX Server.

In-flight Testing

Recently Moss test-drove LeftHands VSA: I was on a business trip to Korea. On the way back I installed two nodes on my laptop. In less than an hour it was up and running.

While other passengers read magazines and watched movies, Moss installed and configured a 2-node test SAN on his laptop. It was that straightforward, and very beneficial. It was extremely useful to help me understand what the technical team was so excited about, stated Moss.

On his return to the United Kingdom, Moss conducted a test phase comparing LeftHand Networks VSA and a Network Appliance product. LeftHands VSA could be integrated into Anites Backup Exec regime, which was a significant advantage. LeftHand Networks quickly became Anites preferred choice as its shared storage solution provider.

Anite has a total of 16 LeftHand Networks storage nodes in eight paired clusters for resilience, providing 60 terabytes of capacity. LeftHand Networks storage nodes will be rolled out across additional Anite sites along with VMware ESX Server clusters over the next few months.

Published Monday, March 17, 2008 6:56 PM by David Marshall
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