Wednesday, 26 January 2011 08:19

The Clark Enersen Partners Selects Nexsan for Expandable, Enterprise-Class Storage

By Derek Kol

Busy Architecture and Landscape Design Firm Achieves Greater Information Availability for its Growing Set of Virtualized Data

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., January 25, 2011 '” Nexsan®, a leading disk-based storage system provider, today announced that The Clark Enersen Partners architecture, engineering, and landscape design firm has selected Nexsan systems for the scalable, centralized storage of its rapidly growing data maintained in a new VMware virtual server enterprise. After selecting a combined solution from Nexsan, composed of two SASBeast® storage systems and dual Nexsan iSeries® 200i SANs, The Clark Enersen Partners is now ready for continued growth while benefitting from enterprise-class features to optimize its new virtual infrastructure.

Founded in 1946, The Clark Enersen Partners is a design firm specializing in architecture, landscape design, engineering, and interiors. Through its design work, The Clark Enersen Partners has been a major influence in defining the character of the built and natural environment in its communities with work that is timeless and provides lasting value. Today, the company has offices in Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas.

As the firm continues to grow, it generates volumes of large image files for its design, engineering, and drafting projects. The resulting storage requirements, which today are more than 6.5TB, were being compounded as project sizes continued to exponentially increase. From email data to project-related information, the regional design firm needed to centralize its applications and storage to simplify management and minimize costs.

'Probably my biggest challenge as an IT manager is dealing with ever-growing file sizes that can drive up storage requirements significantly,' said Cory Pierce, IT manager, The Clark Enersen Partners. 'But in addition to resolving scalability issues that arise from storage growth, I also needed to centralize all of our data and have offsite replication so that disaster recovery was assured by having a backup copy of the data in each of our offices. Our legacy storage vendors struggled with these challenges.'

To centralize its data, The Clark Enersen Partners implemented a VMware Virtual Server as a front end for end users to use devices. From there, the firm needed a flexible storage solution that would integrate easily into the virtualized environment and provide replication between sites. Based on selection criteria that included the ability to expand storage on an as-needed basis without prepopulating the systems beforehand as well as ease of management, reliability, and cost efficiency, The Clark Enersen Partners selected Nexsan for its solution. The Nexsan solution included a combination of two Nexsan SASBeast storage systems, each with 6TB of storage capacity, and dual Nexsan iSeries 200i SANs.

Once the Nexsan systems were up and running, the design firm was impressed by the high-value enterprise-class features it received, including:

'¢ Low-cost scalability '” The Clark Enersen Partners can scale capacity without having to purchase more SAN appliances.

'¢ Enterprise performance '” Now data and logs can be placed on separate physical RAID sets within the same system, optimizing database performance. SAN controllers are independent and active/active.

'¢ Complete storage services '” All storage services are embedded onto the Nexsan iSeries for simplified operation, including virtualization, snapshots, replication, mirroring, and data migration.

'¢ Storage virtualization '” The design firm can eliminate storage waste by creating thousands of custom volumes that precisely address the needs of individual applications.

'In the research I did, Nexsan met all of the criteria I set up,' said Pierce. 'The systems even have some added features that other companies just didn't have. Specifically, with Nexsan we are able to expand at a future date without buying another chassis to support longer term growth requirements. That functionality was the piece that really sold me. Nexsan met every expectation I had.'

The Clark Enersen Partners worked with IT reseller Condor Storage in the selection and deployment of Nexan's storage systems. Jeanne Wilson, president and chief storage architect at Condor Storage, said, 'Nexsan's product portfolio powers solutions that allow us to serve clients like The Clark Enersen Partners that have differing requirements. In this case, Nexsan helped us deliver a hardware platform for both virtual storage and data protection that is a level above what is otherwise available.'

'With Nexsan, customers are able to get enterprise-class features at a cost they can afford,' said Victoria Grey, senior vice president of marketing, Nexsan. 'From scalability and simplified management to reliability and performance, Nexsan works to deliver the high-value features that customers need without a large investment. We have extended these enterprise-class features to the specific requirements of virtualized infrastructures so that companies like The Clark Enersen Partners can quickly and easily realize the true potential of their virtual operating environments.'

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