Indian Companies Have it in Store
Indian enterprises are increasingly using effective storage
strategies to control their growing storage infrastructure. Here's how some
of them are doing it. by Soutiman Das Gupta
Many Indian companies have adopted Information Lifecycle Management, and with
good results. Here, we feature case studies and opinions of user companies and
CIOs that have deployed some aspects of the ILM specifications in their storage
networks. In some instances the companies may not have used ILM-specific policies,
but we have included them because the organized approach of storage management
is itself reflective of ILM.
Storage Strategies for a Better Life
Standard Life Insurance deployed a storage architecture that allows the
company to switch protocols and share files between different environments without
the need to make infrastructure changes.
The company manages vital customer and internal information on its storage infrastructure,
which is its lifeline. Being dedicated to the service of its policy holders,
the company had to introduce systems and applications that would store vital
personal and financial data of its large customer base in a secure and reliable
It deployed a well-planned enterprise storage solution and can now easily share,
access, back up, and archive business-related information. The networked storage
works over multiple platforms, protocols, and applications, and will keep providing
storage management benefits to the company in the long run.
The company faced business challenges, such as manual processes and slow coordination
between policyholders, agents, and customers. It needed a robust storage architecture
that could support the various applications and processes.
Applications Need Storage
HDFC Standard Life uses FileNet Image service server, which manages all the
scanned document images in cache files and in the storage library. A Staffware
server manages the flow of work items in the enterprise application.
The company runs a database server which has two configured databases - one
for FileNet Image services, and one for Staffware and Wonders application data.
The network uses Lotus Notes and hardware severs from Dell.
The company is planning to develop a central repository that would take care
of all unstructured data to facilitate online access for its customers, policyholders,
Here are the highlights of the solution deployed in the primary
location in Mumbai:
- NetApp FAS 940 unit with CIFS, iSCSI protocols
- SnapRestore, SnapShots, SnapMirror
- Windows 2000 platform
The protocols used for each application are as follows:
- Magnetic Storage And Retrieval (MSAR) uses the CIFS protocol.
- Image Services Cache uses iSCSI
- MKF/Index database on Oracle uses CIFS
- Staffware database on Oracle uses CIFS
The data volumes were configured on the NetApp FAS940 filer in the existing
Windows 2000 domain. Three volumes were created to store the user data from
Oracle database, FileNet datasets, backlog images, and MSAR.
Volume 1 and 3 are accessed using the UNC naming convention
and CIFS protocol. Volume 2 is dedicated as an iSCSI volume and the FileNet
datasets are stored on the iSCSI Logical Unit Number (LUN) created on the second
Users can access the backlog images over a public network, while the database
share and the iSCSI LUN are accessed using the private network. A virtual interface
has been configured to provide high availability for network connectivity.
The database and the application present on the Dell Servers
were migrated to the filer by sharing the network drives and mounting the iSCSI
LUN respectively. The application and the database binaries continue to run
on the Dell servers.
The storage solution allows HDFC Standard Life to improve collaboration among
its employees through easy sharing and accessing of business-related information.
It also provides easy scanning, indexing, and storing of documents such as proposal
forms, age proofs, checklists, tax returns, and medical reports, in a flexible
and secure environment, easily accessed and shared among users.