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Fibre Channel Storage Expands Internet Services and Manages Data for GTE Internetworking

Published
  • December 01 1999, 1:00am EST
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BACKGROUND: GTE Internetworking, a unit of GTE Corporation, offers customers, from consumers to Fortune 500 companies, a full spectrum of integrated Internet services using IP networking technologies.

PLATFORMS: GTE Internetworking currently hosts approximately 12 terabytes of storage in a UNIX and NT environment.

PROBLEM SOLVED: GTE Internetworking is a leading provider of a wide range of Internet services such as Web hosting, managed Internet access, virtual private networks, asymmetrical digital subscriber lines, firewall deployment and monitoring as well as enhanced IP services. GTE Internetworking is focused on providing high-quality service by maintaining a state-of-the-art network that establishes a high-speed and secure environment for customers to conduct business online. Keeping pace with customers' online needs and the growing volume of data being procured on the Internet requires the right combination of technology.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: EMC's CLARiiON full Fibre Channel storage puts GTE Internetworking in a position to readily implement a storage area network (SAN) ­ a powerful open storage network for sharing data across heterogeneous environments. GTE Internetworking is currently able take advantage of the data backup benefits of SANs through CLARiiON storage. As SANs continue to improve data backup capabilities, we expect that internal resources will be freed up and re-assigned to other critical areas, such as customer support.

STRENGTHS: CLARiiON full Fibre Channel storage is delivering the high performance, high data availability and expandability that we require today and will increasingly require in the future. Storage will continue to be a key part of the right combination of technology we employ as we continually expand our Internet services for our customers and manage the growing volumes of data via the Internet.

WEAKNESSES: A storage challenge to overcome is the unfortunate reality that disks fail. These failures can be efficiently dealt with provided disks are hot swappable, as with CLARiiON storage, and that an intuitive monitoring system is in place. The ability to catch the failure of a disk early has a direct impact on the overall performance of the network, which is felt by our customers.

SELECTION CRITERIA: The foremost consideration in choosing storage is performance. Thousands of companies and millions of users rely on GTE Internetworking, making maximizing data access and minimizing downtime an absolute necessity. The second consideration is expandability. Storage must be easily expanded to facilitate the terabytes of data being introduced into our network. A critical task is managing the storage of this growing volume of data in a heterogeneous environment while providing high-speed access, high data availability and security for our customers.

DELIVERABLES: CLARiiON Fibre Channel storage delivers the performance and expandability we require. We have installed the CLARiiON FC5300s, FC5400s and FC5700s for our internal storage needs. CLARiiON storage allows us to take advantage of high-performing, end-to- end Fibre Channel connectivity as well as a unique modular architecture that fits into our expanding infrastructure. Through daily monitoring and internal testing, we have seen CLARiiON storage outperform all other storage devices in our infrastructure. CLARiiON provides full Fibre Channel at both the host and disk levels with complete redundancy, featuring a data throughput of up to 120MB per second and I/O performance of up to 30,000 I/Os per second. CLARiiON storage allows for devices to be upgraded without any downtime and is easily expanded. CLARiiON storage can be grown to accommodate nearly four terabytes of data in a single array. The presence of hot swappable components ­ supported by full Fibre Channel connections and complete redundancy ­ and a modular architecture make it a truly flexible solution, translating into considerable investment protection. Initially implemented to facilitate our internal storage needs, CLARiiON storage proved so advantageous that it is becoming more popular for supporting our customers' storage needs.

VENDOR SUPPORT: While storage vendors generally have had difficulty tailoring service and support for such a demanding environment, CLARiiON full Fibre Channel storage solutions have been designed for environments such as the Internet. EMC has responded by fine-tuning a support program tailored to our business, meeting the unique needs and demands of our rapidly growing industry.

DOCUMENTATION: There was no problem with the documentation.

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