Here Comes The SAN - Conwy County Borough Council Upgrades Storage Capabilities With Hitachi Data Systems

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Hitachi Data Systems, provider of Application Optimized Storage(tm) solutions, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT) together with partner Viglen Storage Group (VSG) has implemented a Storage Area Network (SAN) at Conwy County Borough Council to support a major upgrade of the Council's e-mail, archiving, payroll and HR systems.

With more than 2,000 users accessing legacy applications running on AS400 servers, Conwy Council needed to move crucial e-mail and payroll applications, complete with archived data, to a modern, more scaleable system. The Council needed to consolidate its storage systems into a single solution that would not only cope with the migration of vast amounts of critical data from the legacy systems but also manage future storage requirements. VSG worked closely with Conwy to identify their needs and proposed a Hitachi SAN solution, with replication and management software technologies.

"Moving to a server-based e-mail solution from the existing system meant centralising a massive amount of critical data. We needed a solution that was both flexible and ultra reliable," explains Enid Roberts, IT Support Manager at Conwy Council, "Our existing Direct Access Storage (DAS) solutions were proving inefficient in performance, price and footprint, while also severely restricting the portability of data. It was clear that a more modern and cost-effective solution was required."

Like many local councils, Conwy takes a cautious approach to IT projects, working with preferred suppliers and vendors with whom they have an existing relationship. However, Roberts was so impressed with the Hitachi Data Systems solution proposed by VSG, she chose their SAN implementation despite considering solutions from HP, IBM and EMC.

"In the past, we have specified HP," adds Roberts. "However the performance, scalability, product road map and future compatibility of Hitachi storage is technically superior and also competitively priced against EMC and IBM. Working with VSG and Hitachi Data Systems represents a new partnership for Conwy, and the experience has been very positive - the pre- and post-sales, technical support and training continues to be very strong."

"We were delighted to win the Conwy Council storage tender," said Eddie Weremuik, Sales Director, Viglen Storage Group. "It is a perfect example of our ability to design, install and support storage solutions that meet customers' price, performance and quality of service requirements. The end implementation of a complete SAN and centralised backup system was commissioned and operational in one month which was ahead of schedule. Having such a close working relationship with Hitachi Data Systems, together with the best-of-breed technology, were important factors in the project's success."

Adds Andrew Fitzgerald, UK Channel Sales Director for Hitachi Data Systems: "The value-add from our channel partners like VSG comes from their experience in understanding the market and being able to deliver outstanding service and support. Working together, we have been able to resolve Conwy's immediate storage concerns at a competitive price point, whilst also providing a flexible and scalable solution for the future."

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