McDATA Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery SolutionREVIEWER: Russ Rosen, chief information officer of Rooms To Go, Inc.

BACKGROUND: In just 14 years, Rooms To Go has become the nation's top furniture retailer. With nearly 100 showrooms in six states, Rooms To Go originated the concept of purchasing furniture by the room, offering custom living room, dining room and bedroom packages at value prices. Having delivered more than 30 million pieces of furniture since its inception, Rooms To Go recently began offering next-day delivery in most of its markets, enabling consumers to enjoy their new furniture almost immediately.

PLATFORMS: Rooms To Go runs a custom application written internally to do inventory transaction processing on IBM AIX servers. Data is routed by the McDATA Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Solution (including McDATA Intrepid 6064 Director, McDATA Eclipse 1620 SAN Router) from an IBM ESS "Shark" array in the data center and an IBM Fast-T Storage Server in an off-site facility.

PROBLEM SOLVED: On any given day, Rooms To Go ships more than 25,000 pieces of furniture over a six state area requiring more than 100,000 inventory transactions. In order to deliver these quality products and achieve dependable customer service, we must ensure data reliability for these transactions and business continuity 24x7, 365 days a year. In case of a disaster, protecting the vitality of the business is dependent on protecting the infrastructure that enables operations to run securely and reliably.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: McDATA's Business  Continuity/Disaster Recovery Solution provides our inventory transaction processing system with high-performance access to customer information. Reliable and secure access assures that inventory is tracked and delivered on time and without hassle. In the event of a disaster, the newly deployed solution enables the company to be up and running within a few hours, versus days when compared with the legacy infrastructure. McDATA's Eclipse SAN Routers also enable the mirroring of data between the data center and an off-site facility providing additional disaster recovery coverage.

STRENGTHS: Our legacy infrastructure would have made it difficult to recover in the event of an outage or disaster. Because our business relies on the tracking of 100,000 inventory transactions a day, we needed to ensure that Rooms to Go could continue business operations no matter what happened. The McDATA solution gives us the peace of mind knowing that we can bounce back, making this Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Solution from McDATA one of the most important IT systems for our company.

WEAKNESSES: Prior to the implementation of the Disaster Recovery (DR) solution, McDATA packets were getting mixed up as they were sent across the ATM network. This type of problem could have prevented Rooms To Go from deploying the DR solution. But, thanks to the dedication of the McDATA and IBM team, McDATA realized that the problem was incorrect microcode and fixed the problem with software.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Rooms to Go didn't evaluate any other products because this was new technology. If it didn't work, we would have investigated other solutions using other products. We ultimately chose the McDATA solution because of its ability to scale up as our needs grow and because of its higher performance and reliability. We were also impressed with McDATA's breadth and knowledge of the market and its partnerships with other existing infrastructure vendors.

DELIVERABLES: The McDATA solution provides reporting data to IBM's SAN Volume Controller. Here, the data combines the capacity from multiple disk storage systems into a single storage pool, which can be managed from a central point. This is simpler to manage and increases utilization.

VENDOR SUPPORT: McDATA has a relationship with IBM, our storage array vendor. Because the two vendors know each other well and have built joint solutions, the process of installing the business continuity/
disaster recovery solution was easy.

DOCUMENTATION: We worked directly with McDATA, IBM and our storage integrator to plan and deploy the solution. Their existing relationship made it easy to integrate the disparate components of our storage environment and will make expansion seamless when the time comes to grow.

McDATA Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Solution
McDATA Corporation
380 Interlocken Crescent
Broomfield, CA 80021

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