Friday, 16 October 2015 11:16

CoreLogic RP Data gets a gong from NetApp

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Real estate information provider CoreLogic RP Data was highlighted in the first keynote at this week's NetApp Insight conference and recognised with the company's innovation award for visionary leadership.

NetApp CEO George Kurian noted that by using NetApp EF-Series flash storage, CoreLogic RP Data is able to provide realtime property data to estate agents in the field, buyers at home, and bankers in their offices.

Other organisations are presumably seeing the advantages of flash, as Kurian reported that all-flash shipments had increased 140% year on year, and that it is "the fastest growing storage business in the industry."

CoreLogic RP Data head of ICT Adrian Jansz told iTWire that the business had been pushing to get data to its customers faster than the previous weekly turnaround. Multiple factors were identified and addressed, but the EF-Series storage brought new levels of performance and reliability to the company's infrastructure.

For example, the ETL (extract, transform, load) time for a certain dataset was reduced from three or four hours to 50 minutes.

It's easy to throw technology at a problem, but need to understand and address the real issues, said CoreLogic RP Data storage and security team leader Steve Timms. (As previously reported, Officeworks' Greg Rose made a similar observation at the conference.)

The company's users aren't the only ones to benefit from faster turnaround. Jansz told iTWire that CoreLogic RP Data's analysts investigate the reasons for changes in property prices, and cleaner, fresher data helps them do a better job. It also works with the ASX to gain an accruate view of the state of the property market.

"Everyone wants stuff faster," said Timms. "It needs to be now, and it needs to be accurate."

Looking ahead, Jansz said CoreLogic RP Data is moving to cDOT (the latest version of NetApp's operating system), and during 2016 he expects to expand the use of flash storage and will probably install some all-flash devices.

The company is expanding internationally by acquisition, and NetApp's data fabric concept and Private Storage devices fit in well with his strategy. "We're quite hamstrung by data governance" and so there are no plans to store data in the cloud even though AWS is used to deliver information to consumers - a VPN connects the cloud application to CoreLogic RP Data's storage (it has two data centres in Brisbane - one may be moved to Sydney to be closer to the cloud providers - and one in each of Wellington and Auckland).

More than 1PB of production data is processed every day, and backed up using a blend of CommVault and NetApp products to replicate between data centres and to tape storage - but "by next year we'd like to be completely tapeless" with archive data being stored on Amazon S3, said Jansz.

In addition, "AltaVault [NetApp's cloud-integrated backup system] is incredibly exciting" and he is planning a proof of concept for early 2016. Timms pointed out that an AltaVault could keep four weeks of backup in its own storage, and it would be unusual to need to restore older data from the cloud, for instance when one of the company's data scientists wanted to use all the data ever collected in a particular series. "Sometimes it comes to nothing, sometimes it's a whole new product," he reflected.

"For a long time, technology has been a bottleneck for the business," but IT at CoreLogic RP Data is now able to let the business do what it wants, whenever it wants, Jansz told iTWire.

When announcing CoreLogic RP Data's innovation award for visionary leadership, NetApp officials said"With NetApp flash technology, CoreLogic RP Data enhanced the customer experience by enabling access to accurate, real-time property data and by accelerating product offerings to financial institutions for faster and better-informed decision making."

Disclosure: The writer attended NetApp Insight as a guest of the company.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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