True Life: Real-world Success with Unified Scale-out Storage (Part I)

As you may recall, this past August Isilon launchedthe first unified scale-out storage platform, integrating iSCSI into the OneFS® operating system. With a few months having gone by, I wanted to share some success stories about what unified scale-out looks like in real life.

In this entry I’ll focus on Cypress E&P, an oil and gas exploration company based in Houston, TX. For years, Cypress had been using a traditional SAN, but as its seismic data stores grew in-line with increasing customer demand, it needed a more scalable solution.

Insert Isilon right? But wait, there was a catch…

Though much of Cypress’ workflow relied on file-based data in their form of raw or processed seismic images, it still needed to store its SQL and Exchange databases, as well as backup these servers to tape.

As opposed to have multiple storage systems running next to each other, Cypress wanted to consolidate all of their data storage on a single system and eliminate the complicated management processes related to its SAN.

Now, insert Isilon’s unified scale-out platform. Using Isilon, Cypress was able to consolidate all of its business-critical applications on single solution and point of management, simplifying IT operations and freeing resources for higher priorities.

With Isilon, Cypress can easily manage and protect its SQL and Exchange servers from the same system it uses for its seismic data analysis and interpretation, giving the oil and gas company one, seamless solution for all its data storage needs. Today, costs are down, productivity and efficiency are up, and Cypress can aggressively pursue new business without worrying about its storage limitations. As Cypress’ Director of IT Eric Bass said:

“With Isilon, we’ve been able to shed the complexity of our previous SAN and consolidate our Exchange and SQL databases, CommVault backups, and all our corporate file shares onto a single, easy-to-use operating system. Now I don’t have to worry about storage and can focus on what really matters – managing data to move our business forward.”

Check back soon for another look at unified scale-out storage in the wild. In the meantime, I’d love feedback on whether people find unified systems more efficient, or prefer deploying separate storage for specific apps.

Please comment here or hit me @Isilon_Nick.

About the Author: Nick Kirsch