When I think of weather forecasting and efficiency my thoughts and I'm sure it's the same with most people, wander to a lifetime of inaccurate weather predictions and happy weather forecasters on TV news. But for Dell, the energy efficiency and flexible architecture of their blades servers and storage arrays meant that AccuWeather, Inc would be predicting that their choice of Dell equipment would meet their datacenter needs for now and into the future.
Accuweather's decision to go with high efficiency blade servers to replace older equipment is unsurprising, as is their choice of Dell for an equipment provider. Dell has a strong presence in the datacenter market and lots of motivation to build their market share with high-profile clients, like AccuWeather. More interesting is the size and scope of the datacenter storage that Dell is providing.
Utilizing three different models of Dell EquaLogic storage arrays with a total storage capacity of nearly 26 terabytes Dell has implemented this large scale, shared storage deployment completely over iSCSI, which significantly reduced the amount of time spent on deployment , claiming a complete SAN installation in less than one hour, and management, with a reduction in time for administrative tasks of 80 percent.
There are 116 meteorologists utilizing the data stored in that large enterprise and they deliver content to more than 50,000 external websites, as well as the data for AccuWeather branded forecasts that appear on television and radio. As weather forecasting is based upon predicting future weather patterns based on historical data, easy access to this data and the ability to apply analytical tools to model the predictions are critical. AccuWeather's choice of datacenter hardware vendor is literally a life or death business decision as mistakes caused by datacenter issues are immediately, and very publicly exposed, and public perception is what makes, or breaks, a weather forecasting business.