Mindful of IP in the SAN
BPO chose IP SAN technology for easier manageability and lower costs
Wipro BPO had to deploy suitable networked storage infrastructure
to take control of the changing business and IT environment. The size and volume
of stored data was increasing at a fast pace, and new devices were being added
every other day.
The company decided to deploy a SAN in order to organise
its information assets better. It chose IP SAN technology because it was based
on IP and easy to manage, required no extra manpower training, and was cost-effective.
Growing Business and IT
To cater to the needs of the growing business and data
sizes, we regularly added new servers. In addition we had to deploy more tape
devices, attached directly or networked, to ensure that the growing corporate
data was backed up reliably and within shrinking backup windows, says
Rajiv Gerela, General Manager, Technology, Wipro BPO Solutions.
The delay in retrieving data often hampered the effectiveness
of frontline executives. Faced with data management issues and mounting storage
costs, the company decided to look for a centralised and virtualised storage
solution, which would not only allow Wipro to easily provision additional storage
on the network but also enable data backup and restore in a near-online mode.
The Move to IP SAN
The company chose to move directly to IP SAN instead of playing
safe with the tried and tested FC technology. The storage infrastructure is
built around Intransas IP 5000 solution, which is a modular block storage
array. The current storage capacity is 1.5 TB, scalable to 24 TB. There are
two Pentium 4 servers with 1 GB RAM running Windows 2000. The switching infrastructure
uses Gigabit Ethernet.
The solution allows us to take snapshots at a point
in time on alternate volumes and thus helps reduce incremental tape backup requirements,
The IP SAN infrastructure runs a number of applications that
are mission-critical for the company. They are:
- MIS for different functions or processes
- Employee databases
- Billing databases
- Intranet knowledge-based sites for different processes
- Mail store
- File server
MIS and billing databases are the most critical applications
since they are used for revenue tracking. The intranet knowledge base is critical
for effectively training new recruits, while the mail or file store is important
for business-critical data such as mail, client communications and performance
The IP SAN has benefitted Wipro in several ways. The cost
per MB of storage is low. We are now able to dynamically grow and provision
our storage to individual hosts and expand volumes for individual applications
or users with no disruptions or downtime on the server. This is a significant
improvement over our previous DAS configuration, reveals Gerela.
There is no need for additional manpower that is trained
in FC technology since the existing workforce is adept at IP. The infrastructure
also allows fast backups and restores, saving valuable time.
As business grows and new devices are introduced to the network
the company does not need to extensively change its information storage infrastructure.
The infrastructure has the flexibility to increase capacity to any new application
or server requirement. Any new investment is only incremental in terms of hardware
We will no longer need to provision new DAS setups,
saving a lot on the extra disks required for each setup to get the required
RAID levels, explains Gerela.
He adds, Today, we have grown applications using the
SAN. For this growth we did not need to add any new storage setup, but just
increased the capacity within the existing box. An example is the call centre
setup where we are required to record the agents voice and screen to enforce
quality and to detect misuse. This needs heavy storage.
Wipro BPO has increased their SAN storage by several TB but
has not invested in additional servers as only drives and enclosures have worked.
Thus it has saved cost, time and maintenance apart from space for these huge
With updates from Priya Jain