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GTE Achieves Fault Tolerance, High Performance and Scalability with Gladiator RAID Storage Servers

Published
  • July 01 1999, 1:00am EDT
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BACKGROUND: GTE Internetworking, a unit of GTE Corp., was formed when GTE acquired BBN Corp. which 28 years ago developed the ARPANET, the precursor to the modern Internet. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, GTE Internetworking offers customers, from consumers to Fortune 500 companies, a full spectrum of integrated Internet services using IP networking technologies. GTE Internetworking delivers complete network solutions, including dial-up and dedicated Internet access, high-performance Web hosting, managed Internet security, virtual private networks, network management, systems integration and Web-based application development for integrating the Internet into business operations. GTE Internetworking has 12 global data centers and a unique load- balancing technology for Web hosting.

PLATFORMS: Sun Microsystems- based computing platform with Sun Ultra and Sun Enterprise servers operating Sun Solaris 2.6 applications.

PROBLEM SOLVED: GTE Internetworking's Web hosting division must secure its customers' data on the most robust, fault-resilient storage technologies available. A failure on one of the storage systems could cause down time on its customers' Web sites. Some customers also depend on GTE Internetworking to store information used to generate revenue. For example, publishing companies store the number of "hits" their Web advertisers receive so they can bill them accordingly. The need for optimal reliability, combined with rising demand for GTE Internetworking's hosting services, requires the company to upgrade to the most scalable, fault-resilient storage platform available. GTE also required a solution that could be quickly configured to meet individual requirements from a vendor that could deliver a standardized storage platform, high-quality support and maintenance. GTE Internetworking benchmarked storage solutions from other vendors before choosing MTI's Gladiator RAID storage systems. MTI's RAID arrays were chosen for their fault tolerance, high performance and scalability. These features help GTE offer a very competitive product to its customers.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The Gladiator series is a family of high-performance storage servers protected by RAID and complete component redundancy. The products support 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 its RAIDManager software, an enterprise-wide management tool that manages multiple RAID arrays on a variety of platforms across the enterprise.

STRENGTHS: The Gladiator storage servers have provided GTE Internetworking with significant improvements in system performance. MTI's storage solutions offered a standardized storage platform that can be quickly configured with more capacity to support GTE's rapidly growing user base. The storage solutions provide proven fault-tolerant technology that enables GTE to securely maintain its customers' data. MTI also offers 24x7 service and support which enhances GTE's product offerings. GTE Internetworking customers often want to launch or expand their Internet sites on short notice, and MTI has delivered new customized storage solutions on very tight deadlines. With MTI Gladiator storage solutions, GTE Internetworking has been able to significantly reduce the risk of system down time while enhancing Web site performance by improving availability of data.

WEAKNESSES: The only shortcoming we experienced was that the Gladiator 3200 product does not support Fibre Channel. However, we are planning to implement MTI's Gladiator 6700 and Gladiator 3600 to achieve Fibre Channel connectivity.

VENDOR SUPPORT: MTI operates its own service organization on a worldwide basis and is widely recognized as a leader in customer service for storage products. MTI operates a state-of-the-art Customer Response Center from its corporate headquarters in Anaheim, California. If GTE Internetworking experiences any problems, MTI has the expertise to keep the company systems on-line. MTI's ability to tune the storage to best utilize the company's available capacity is considered a tremendous value add by GTE. MTI's service and support were two very strong factors in GTE Internetworking's vendor selection.

DOCUMENTATION: MTI supplies complete documentation.

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