Customer challenge

It’s not easy providing water and services to over 860,000 residents, wholesale, and retail customers! However, George Knops, a Network Administrator from the City Of Milwaukee Water Works is tasked with just that. From an IT perspective, it is George’s responsibility to support the various departments such as engineering, water quality and customer service with phone systems, databases, billing, and web services. As the need for a High Availability infrastructure grew, George was not only tasked with finding the right technology, but also one that avoided the purchase of multiple SANs to accommodate a failover situation.

“We were faced with the challenge of needing 2 data centers that mirrored one another, so that even if we lost one complete site our internal and external customers would not be negatively impacted”, said George Knops. “It’s never easy to justify or get approval on a ‘just in case’ solution so we needed something that was full proof, yet affordable”.

The solution

With the effects of the difficult economy rippling into budget cuts for the City Of Milwaukee, George had a big challenge on his hands. Alternate solutions he had come across were either tedious, painstakingly complex or simply didn’t provide the level of support that he required. As George continued to look for options, he discovered StorMagic’s SvSAN and investigated further.

“In minutes we were able to present datastores to our environment. Working with the technical support, which was nothing short of awesome, we were able to try the mirrored storage. Using all of the features of VMware including vCenter Server HA along with StorMagic SvSAN, we had 2 completely up and running duplicate sites”.

The SvSAN provides a vCenter plug-in making highly available datastores a reality without any expertise or reliance on an external SAN. As a result, organizations like the City of Milwaukee are able to achieve their Business Continuity initiatives with Highly Available datastores enabling them to deliver continuous access to datastores and maintain online applications without disruption.

The result

As George likes to state, he sleeps a lot better these days. He has the comfort of knowing he has a full Business Continuity plan in place that his organization can afford.

“We have what we need without the extremely high cost of dual SAN storage plus all the power they would consume and extra switches. Going further, we do not have to maintain the SAN storage; the SvSAN is a plugin for the vCenter Server and is managed in vSphere. It’s fast and easy to get up and running, extremely reliable and by far the easiest product I’ve dealt with”.

Catering to those 860,000 people just got safer!