Ordnance Survey saves big with storage upgrade

And no more daytime back-ups either
Written by Tim Ferguson, Contributor

And no more daytime back-ups either

Ordnance Survey is seeing significant savings and productivity improvements from upgrading its data storage.

The national mapping agency deals with more than 40 terabytes of data - mostly digital aerial photographs - each year, with files often up to 1GB in size.

With such a high volume of data, its old disk-based storage system was nearing capacity and regular back-ups - which used to take place at night - were extending into the working day.

To remedy the situation the agency decided to install a new storage system based on Ultra Density Optical technology from hardware maker Plasmon and BridgeHead's HT FileStore software. As a result the organisation can now access data more quickly than before, back-ups take place only at night again and the data is more secure, according to the agency.

The greater capacity provided by the new system also helps Ordnance Survey fulfil its remit to store historical data for up to half a century.

Ordnance Survey's information systems infrastructure manager, Dave Lipsey, said: "As we are 200 years old, the ability to store data for up to 50 years is something that we feel is important to the organisation."

Not only is the new system more efficient but it is saving the agency money too. Ordnance Survey estimates the revamped storage has cut the cost of storing information by about half - from £2,500 to £1,200 per terabyte.

At present the archived material consists of digital captures of aerial photographs that form a large part the agency's data but there are plans to extend it to include financial data as well.

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