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NSK uses CloudArray™ and Amazon S3 to efficiently expand storage capacity
About NSK Inc:
NSK Inc is a leader in information technology consulting, with a focus on IT management for SMB companies. Headquartered in Boston, MA with an additional office in Palo Alto, CA, the company offers a wide array of IT services for business driven information challenges. They provide service and support for small and medium-sized businesses and groups working within large organizations. NSK Inc also creates custom software products for investment banks, equity management organizations, and other specialized industry areas.
- Expand on-site storage using a "pay as you go" model without increasing on-site storage footprint
- Seamless integration with existing applications
- Simple provisioning and management of storage volumes
CloudArray offers three key functionalities that help us overcome our internal storage issues:
- Scalability: With CloudArray’s integration to cloud storage providers such as Amazon S3 we are able to effectively increase our storage allocation on demand and fully utilize a “pay as you go” cloud storage service.
- iSCSI integration: iSCSI allows us to interact and monitor our provisioned storage arrays as if they were attached locally.
- Simple GUI based Administration: CloudArray’s Control module GUI offers an intuitive console for adapting to changing storage needs on the fly.
Our technical infrastructure consists of 15 traditional physical servers and 6 VMware ESXi hosts. Each host carries an average of 6 virtual machines. This infrastructure hosts the development environment for our company, as well as several IT/business related servers including backup domain controllers, BES servers, and our internal personnel and time tracking databases. In our previous configuration, all of our virtual infrastructure’s storage needs were being met by the local capacity of our virtual hosts.
This method worked well short term but proved to be near sighted during the later stages of implementation. After analyzing our virtual servers’ storage utilization and monitoring their frequency of access, we noticed that our storage resources were being monopolized by what is largely static data. This essentially wasted approx. 75% of our ESXi hosts locally attached storage.
With a shrinking hardware footprint and a growing virtual infrastructure, our storage needs have changed. Now the issue isn’t having enough drive space to store our data, it’s having enough hardware to host our drives. With our internal storage hardware approaching its calculated end of life, it proved not to be fiscally prudent to replace it. With the initial cost of acquisition and its projected cost of upkeep, we found off-site storage to be a better overall solution for us.
Taking into consideration the frequency with which we access the majority of our data, we found that a partially cached model would work quite well. This effectively reduced our local storage footprint by 90% (+/-) and removed the ceiling of a traditional hardware storage configuration.
CloudArray’s iSCSI connectivity and GUI based control console enables us to easily deploy a versatile storage allocation solution with a very intuitive and logical set of administration and management tools. We are able to allocate as much or as little storage as we need in minutes, and fully utilize a cloud storage solution as if it were attached directly to our file server.
TwinStrata CloudArray provides NSK a cutting edge cloud storage implementation in a very functional and versatile rapid deployment package.
--Alexander Straffin, NSK Inc.