Census counts on SAN storage

The Census Bureau is using a storage area network environment to store 4.6T of workaday data for 1,500 employees.

Census' Network Technical Services Branch migrated to SAN storage technology using two Magnitude SANs from Xiotech Corp. of Eden Prairie, Minn.

The branch had been using local storage on Compaq servers for many years. When the branch moved to the SAN environment about four years ago, they eliminated the internal storage capacity of those servers, said Dino Tolentino, IT specialist with Census' Client Support Office.

The two SANs are connected to about 30 servers, including Microsoft Windows, Sun Solaris and Novell NetWare 5.1, Tolentino said. These servers link to the SANs by means of Brocade Fibre Channel switches from Brocade Communications Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif.

Before adopting the SAN technology, it took the office a weekend to upgrade a server, Tolentino said. Now it takes two minutes to restore data.

The group plans to implement a fiber link that will allow mirroring capability more than 25 miles away.

The branch is getting ready to consolidate IT support for 5,000 Census employees and all their shared data to a third Magnitude SAN. This one will have a capacity of 9.2T, said IT specialist Roy Ashley.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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