Case Study: Maximizing Storage Value with IP SANs


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While Fibre Channel Storage Area Networks (FC SANs) have enabled the industry to move towards a more centralized and simplified architecture, they are sometimes criticized due to being overly expensive to implement and requiring specialized technicians. Enter IP (Internet Protocol) SANs, touted as more affordable and much easier to operate.

This proved to be the case at the City of Ogden, Utah. Pressing business necessity forced Ogden to face up to a radical change in its traditional direct-attached storage (DAS) environment — a huge MIS deficit due to budget cuts that led to IT staff being cut from 29 to 11 and an aging infrastructure.

"It became evident that we needed to reexamine and significantly reduce our IT spending," says Jay Brummett, CTO of the City of Ogden. "Further, we had key projects scheduled, such as a utility billing system upgrade, homeland security projects, and automated fingerprint authorization systems. Fortunately, IP SANs offered significantly reduced cost, increased user satisfaction, and ease of implementation."

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Ogden City, the largest city in northern Utah, has a population of 80,000. It is situated at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, 35 miles north of Salt Lake City. It hosted several events during the 2002 Olympics, including the downhill and curling. Ogden is also recognized as one of the 50 most wired cities in the nation.

Ogden also provides the IT infrastructure for a two-county, seventeen-jurisdictional E-911 Communications Center and Crime Intelligence Unit. This IT infrastructure extends to 32 satellite sites around the city. Police and fire stations, E-911 public works facilities and businesses, and community centers are served via TI and Gigabit Ethernet.

Rapid growth in its computer population meant that IT supported approximately 50 Win2K and Linux servers, three Hewlett-Packard HP/UX servers, and 1200 desktops. Old core switches and hubs deployed at the network's edge were in dire need of replacement. Many aging servers were also in need of upgrade.

"Ogden's data storage requirements are expected to grow in the next few years into 6 to 10 terabytes as our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and public safety systems continue to expand," says Brummett.

Page 2: Transitioning to IP

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