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Chatham House, home of the Royal Institute of International Affairs global think tank, has solved its data network problems with a virtualisation system from DataCore.

Chatham House, home of the Royal Institute of International Affairs global think tank, has solved its data network problems with a virtualisation system from DataCore.

DataCore's SANsymphony-V storage virtualisation software is being used to solve outage and application access problems at Chatham House in central London.

Paul Curtin, finance and operations director at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, said: "Outages were becoming more frequent and a distinct problem. Sporadic performance was also an issue, with unreliable access and poor response times being delivered to staff from critical applications such as Exchange email or database mining."

He said: "Whilst we had benefitted from the success of a consolidated virtualisation deployment some years previously, it was recognised that we were being dramatically hindered by the existing underlying storage supporting the virtual servers.”

DataCore partner SDT was brought in to identify and combat a number of frequent and untraceable disruptions that were happening on the previously running SAN (storage area networking) system.

SDT recognised that the data degradation and unreliability issues could be quickly stemmed through the deployment of a software defined storage layer, which would also provide a "watertight" disaster recovery solution.

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Two HP ProLiant DL385 standard servers running two licences of DataCore’s SANsymphony-V software in a mirrored synchronous format were deployed, to form a centrally managed virtual storage pool from which the Institute’s 24 VMware virtual machines (VMs) could "draw disk".

This immediately alleviated the previous I/O bottlenecks, as the multiple VMs running on the same physical servers could now access a readily available shared pool of storage.

Curtin said: "Previously, so unstable was the storage array, that we couldn’t even guarantee 24x7 access. The installation of DataCore’s SANsyphony-V software layer immediately enhanced the service, so the days of 48-hour downtime whilst we re-indexed Exchange email and addressed database corruption have been totally eradicated.”

In addition, a disaster recovery system was also delivered by a third asynchronous SANsymphony-node, housed outside of central london in a secure data centre hosted facility acting as a contingency site.

Within this managed facility SDT uses SANsymphony-V’s "low-impact" and space efficient snapshot technology to replicate data and applications on behalf of the Institute.

Through disaster recovery simulation tests, SDT says it can have all assets, applications and data back up and running within a two-hour window.