I had the opportunity to speak with Kipp Bertke, and Brian Brothers, about how Ohio DODD is using Dell Compellent’s automated tiered storage and storage virtualization capabilities. Thanks for thaking the time to speak with me Brian. This conversation supports the trend in increasing sophistication of storage virtualization systems offered by a number of vendors.
Introduce yourself and your organization
I spoke with Brian Brothers, Network Administrator Manager, and Kipp Bertke, IT Manager for Infrastructure and Operations of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. Ohio DODD serves 80,000 people in Ohio.
What were you doing that you need this type of technology?
The group had a very small Dell Compellent SAN. We embarked on a server virtualization program to centralize and virtualize all of the servers throughout the agency. To do that, we needed a SAN that would support redundant data centers. Replication was a key capability. Another key capability was the ability to grow our storage without having to do a "forklift upgrade."
The goal was to make it possible to use many different types of storage and types of redundancy without having to do special configurations for each physical or virtual server.
The SAN needed to be sophisticated, but simple. We have only 5 staff members in the entire infrastructure organization. We needed something that would support our requirements simply and easily.
What products did you consider before making a selection?
We evaluated three different SAN suppliers. Products from Dell Compellent, HP and EMC were considered.
Why did you select this product?
Replication, the ability to use different types of storage and the ability to grow simply were the reasons Dell Compellent was chosen.
What tangible benefits has your organization gotten through the use of this product?
In just six months, we’ve virtualized 90 percent of our server and storage hardware reached a goal of 98 percent, further reducing space, power and cooling costs. In the process, we seamlessly added vSphere SRM to our existing Dell Compellent replication to enable bullet-proof disaster recovery. With Dell Compellent and VMware, we can now shift resources on demand between our data centers and deliver IT services that can scale for numerous departments across our organization.
What advice would you give others facing similar issues?
When you are first starting out with a goal, make sure you have taken enough time planning before implementing a solution. Review what others have done in the industry too. Because of our careful planning we didn't run into any show stoppers during our project implementation.
It is important to look closely at what SANs can do to help implement a server virtualization project. SANs are large investments. We were fortunate to have started this project when most of our storage hardware had reached end of life. This made it possible for us to select a uniform storage environment. SAN management, also can be quite intense and expensive. Consider the cost of SAN management during your planning.
Don't let the fear of failure prevent you from taking the risk necessary to be innovative. Compellent fit our needs very well today and offered room for future growth.