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Dropping Direct Attached
That strategy consists of replacing the existing direct-attached storage with a series of Storage Area Networks (SANs). Each of the three major data centers receives its own SAN, with additional SAN islands deployed at the office towers and for different operating systems and business needs.
"Our strategy is to deploy solutions that support cross-platform resource sharing and measurable service and management improvements which provide cost-effective, highly available, 'on demand' networked-storage solutions, which facilitate automation of business continuity operations," Smalley explains.
Rolling out the new equipment began in September when the bank installed a 125TB STK9840 tape storage system from Storage Technology Corp. of Louisville, Colo. To improve management of the data, the bank also deployed IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager on an IBM eSeries p660, a rack-mounted midrange UNIX server.
Just as important as the storage equipment, though, is the connection between the user and the files. Any bottleneck along the line wastes even the highest performance backend, so BMO wanted to put in a 64-port director class switch. It evaluated switches from several manufacturers, including the StorageTek SN6000 and McDATA Corp.'s (Broomfield, Colo.) ED-6064 Director, but wound up selecting INRANGE Technologies Corp.'s FC/9000 Fibre Channel Director. BMO was already using other INRANGE hardware, and the FC/9000 supports IBM's 17 Mbps fiber-optic channel Enterprise Systems Connection (ESCON).
"We already had favorable past experience and familiarity with this technology since the bank was utilizing an INRANGE CD/9000 switch with the zOS mainframe," says Smalley. "This implementation allowed BMO to utilize existing cabling and ESCON infrastructure."
The main datacenter in Toronto received two of the FC/9000s so there wouldn't be a single point of failure. A third unit went to the other Toronto facility, which functions as a backup for the main datacenter. This backup data center will also be adding a second FC/9000 so that both locations have full dual-fabric switching.
Once the tape drives and switches were in place, it was time to roll out the centralized storage equipment, starting with a 10TB IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server (ESS). The ESS scales up to 384 disks and offers a total capacity of 55.9TB. In addition to ESCON, it also connects via Fibre Channel, 2Gbit Fiber Channel/FICON, and SCSI. It shares storage for devices running IBM's proprietary operating systems (OS/400, OS/390, and zOS) as well as Unix, Windows NT/2000, and Linux.