PLATFORMS: UNIX-based computers, Hewlett-Packard HP T600 with six CPUs running Oracle Financials and HP T500 operating in application development environments.
BACKGROUND: The Industrial Automation and Control (IAC) business of Honeywell Inc., provides a broad range of control systems and products, software and services to process manufacturers worldwide. IAC is a business unit within Honeywell's Industrial Control business and is located in Phoenix, Ariz.
PROBLEM SOLVED: In 1996, IAC recognized that, without serious renovation of its IT infrastructure, the company's growth would be quickly offset by the IT department's lack of resources and advanced technology. To achieve Honeywell's stated goals and objectives, it was necessary to migrate from a legacy system to a more open client/server architecture to improve IT performance. The biggest hurdle to overcome was system growth and disk storage, since the combined suite of application software programs (including accounts payable, accounts receivable, general ledger, etc.) were all taking up valuable disk space and were continually requiring more storage capacity. With its fault-tolerant, scalable, cross- platform disk arrays, MTI offered a clear solution to Honeywell's growing pains. To meet the objectives at all levels, MTI brought in a team to conduct benchmarking of all systems' performance. This ensured that programs and capacities would remain efficient through the next two years with scalability to meet five-year growth plans. Maintaining system integrity was critical at every step of the upgrade; if one link failed, the whole system would fail. With pressure to grow its business substantially by the Year 2000, Honeywell required the right architecture to meet its primary objectives of high reliability and availability. MTI's Gladiator 3000 series met all of the company's requirements for high-end storage solutions. Today, IAC's IT configuration consists of Hewlett-Packard Alliance servers, MTI disk arrays, MTI backup/restore software and MTI robotic tape libraries.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The Gladiator series is a high-performance RAID subsystem with ultra-SCSI host connectivity which supports RAID levels 0, 0+1 and 5. All components are hot swappable including power supplies, fans, RAID controllers and disk drives. In addition, MTI provides software called RAIDManager, which is an enterprise-wide management tool that manages multiple RAID arrays on a variety of platforms across the enterprise.
STRENGTHS: The Gladiator 3000 has provided Honeywell IAC with significant improvements in system performance. After only one month, the upgraded disk capacity reduced report generation time by 25 percent, while time-sheet and expense entry improved by 22 percent. On average, overall system performance has improved between 20 and 25 percent depending upon I/O utilization. The company has installed more than 720 gigabytes of MTI RAID storage and more than 80TB of MTI tape backup over the last nine months.
WEAKNESSES: At the moment, MTI does not support some of the UNIX platforms, such as NCR and Linux. The company has focused its product development on mainstream operating systems such as UNIX and Windows NT, but is working to address compatibility issues with other operating systems.
VENDOR SUPPORT: MTI operates its own service organization and recently established the Customer Response Center. If Honeywell IAC experiences any problems, MTI has the expertise to keep the company systems on-line. MTI's ability to tune the storage and train IAC's staff on how to best utilize storage solutions is considered a tremendous value-add by Honeywell.
DOCUMENTATION: MTI supplies complete documentation.
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