StoneFly IP SAN makes business continuity and customer compliance simple for Nancy Specialty Foods!

Nancy Specialty Foods which produces around 35 tons of high end, fine foods daily from California to throughout North America is using StoneFly IP SAN to makes its business continuity and customer compliance needs simple. The IP SAN of StoneFly is making Nancy Specialty Food’s IT department ensures high-availability of mission-critical data ranging from email and business intelligence tools to vital Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) applications that support the said company’s supply-chain management strategies.

The technology foundation at Nancy’s is reinforced by state-of-the-art solutions from Cisco, Intel and Microsoft. More than 100 end users connect to crucial data, which is stored on 25 servers running Linux as well as Windows 2000 and 2003. While the primary data center is located at the 86,000 square-foot headquarters’ facility, the team also is responsible for managing a secondary onsite facility as part of a rapidly expanding disaster recovery initiative.

Traditionally, the company’s IT team implemented Direct attached storage devices along with hot spare disk systems on each server, totaling 50 storage devices and nearly one terabyte of data that required over the night backups and admin support.

However, as the company’s IT operations expanded, the Nancy Specialty Foods was in the process of strengthening its business continuity plans while preparing to embark on a large customer compliance project.

With that in mind, the proactive IT team started exploring ways to streamline storage provisioning as well as bolster backup and recovery needs for important company and customer data.

The biggest challenge faced by Nancy was its inefficient storage utilization with its Direct attached storage approach. And from Disaster Recovery standpoint, they wanted to separate the company’s storage from its servers while managing and provisioning it centrally. Even they wanted to get rid of the practice of having 10 hours of over-night backups which spread across networked servers and then the practice of offloading the data to a centralized tape library.

While exploring alternatives, Fiber Channel based SAN Technology came in their way. But the expense part of deploying it, made the IT department keep it as a last option. They came across, iSCSI, which was perhaps an Internet Protocol-based SAN which was proving as a more cost-effective solution. So, they opted for an IP SAN (iSCSI storage) and started to search for companies offering it.

Nancy’s IT department evaluated different IP SAN offering vendors while also working with Microsoft on a rapid deployment of Windows Server 2008 and Active Directory. To that end, they initiated a hands-on evaluation of leading IP SAN solutions from StoneFly, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dynamic Network Factory.

StoneFly IP SAN was chosen because of its flexible, modular architecture. Moreover, it also separated the provisioning and management software from the actual disks. Similar to a software defined storage support.

Before deploying the StoneFly IP SAN, however, Nancy’s technology team put the product through its paces during a month-long, proof-of-concept stress test. Using a Microsoft utility to simulate a 100-user, clustered Exchange environment, they reviewed traffic flow, response time, ease of use and reliability. As expected it passed out with flying colors as it met all the evaluation criterion of Nancy Specialty Foods without a hiccup.

With the IP SAN deployment, Nancy’s was able to reduce its administrative overhead while enabling its constrained IT team to meet increasing storage requirements without adding more staff. The company also is planning to deploy disk-to-disk (D2D) backups to enhance overall business continuity further. With Nancy’s primary and secondary mirrors, reflection readily protects the company’s data in case they experience an outage at either data center.

To provide an extra measure of protection against data corruption, however, the team plans to implement a third SAN for handling D2D backups while eliminating backup window restrictions completely. It can also go for a StoneFly DR365 in this approach.

To know more details about StoneFly IP SAN call 510.265.1616 or click on StoneFly IP SAN web page.

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