There are a number of storage area network (SAN) management tools now on the market to help automate and monitor storage management processes.At Mid-Continent Casualty Insurance Co., Tulsa, Okla., for example, the expansion of the company's SAN introduced an array of new Intel-based servers to the data center.
"Mid-Continent, like a lot of companies now, runs with a very small staff, and does not want to add staff," says Jim Headrick, vice president of Total Data Service Inc., a Cumming, Ga.-based company that built and deployed the insurer's SAN. "Typically, if you go out and add 30 to 40 Intel servers in a whole new SAN fabric, you have to add to headcount to support it."
Mid-Continent deployed Tivoli management tools from IBM Corp., Armonk, N.Y., to automate storage provisioning and monitoring. Mid-Continent decided to upgrade its SAN as it implemented a new imaging system on the Intel servers to supplement the insurer's iSeries-based imaging system.
The company now maintains about three terabytes of data across the SAN, a three-fold increase over the old imaging system. "There was a doubling of both performance and capacity with the new SAN," says Headrick.
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