Shortel uses StoneFly IP SAN for its evolving Voice over IP market needs!

Shortel, formerly known as Shoreline Communications, is embracing leading edge technology from StoneFly, Inc., to support a steady swell of demand for multi-site Voice over IP system needs.

Headquartered in Sunnyvale-California, Shortel is providing next-generation voice systems that turn business phone systems into powerful platforms that enable new levels of voice and data collaboration. The company’s distributed IP PBX technology lets organizations leverage resources and expertise across multiple sites to improve customer service, increase employee productivity and lower operational costs. Its technology is being used around the world by fortune 1000 organizations and emerging technology companies.

However, with this high grade business development, ShorTel storage needs are also growing on a sturdy note. Like maintaining source code for different product releases as well as keeping a large amount of logs and diagnostics on hand for customer support creates a huge volume of data, which represents the disk needs of a much larger organization. Earlier, ShoreTel’s data-intensive operation was served by not so sophisticated storage array until a nagging concern about running out of disk space prompted their IT team to search for more scalable, flexible and easy-to-manage options

Before evaluating the storage alternatives, the Shortel IT team reviewed their storage environment to gauge the best way to handle the storage requirements of their users, approximately 8 Microsoft Windows 2010 & 12 servers, an aggressive in-house software development effort, a Siebel customer relationship management (CRM) system as well as a SQL database-driven web application and robust financial system. In addition, the team assessed its current tedious and time-consuming method of offloading storage and archiving data through incremental and full tape backups. As a company with a significant software development effort, ShoreTel had a requirement to maintain bug fixes and patch releases, typically storing up to two months of fixes online with the rest stored offsite on tape

At this juncture, after reviewing various storage options like NAS-Network attached storage, the emerging IP-based storage area network (SAN) market piqued the team’s interest. And a review of message boards and news sources led ShoreTel (formerly known as Shoreline Communications) to StoneFly Networks, a pioneer in offering iSCSI solutions. The StoneFly Storage Unified Scale out (USO™) Appliance – SAN + Scale Out NAS Storage appeared to meet the selection criteria.

The ShoreTel IT team put the product through its paces, taking into consideration its scalability, ease of use and management along with its ability to support critical backup needs. On all fronts, the StoneFly Storage Unified SAN + NAS met Shoreline’s selection criteria. StoneFly’s IP SAN configurations, including the Storage Concentrator storage provisioning appliances, interoperable iSCSI initiators and SAS disk-based arrays could scale from 100 terabyte up to 1 Petabytes of storage at a cost of less than one cent per megabyte.

In addition, StoneFly IP SAN storage provides centralized storage management, control and monitoring of virtualized storage clusters through a web-based graphical user interface, which was important to ShoreTel. Finally, StoneFly’s IP SAN could replace Shoreline’s (Shortel) cumbersome backup processes with a consolidated backup procedure designed for faster, more reliable backups.

The StoneFly IP SAN was installed and the ShoreTel team quickly began consolidating data storage onto the new system. And one of the biggest advantages of the StoneFly IP SAN is the ease and speed with which ShoreTel resolved its disk-to-disk and tape backup challenges.

ShoreTel now has more critical data readily available to support important product development and customer support efforts. The time and cost associated with obtaining backup tapes from offsite storage has been reduced by more than 60 percent with the help of disk backup support. Also, requests for older build management data have been lowered by 30-to-40 percent.

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