T&D World Magazine

Nashville Electric Service Selects Unified Storage

Nashville Electric Service has selected EMC's VNX unified storage over NetApp and Hitachi. NES selected EMC VNX to improve the performance, efficiency and scalability of its 90% virtualized information infrastructure— replacing 100 terabytes of NetApp storage.

"With 20-percent annual storage growth over several years, we were constantly running out of capacity using NetApp storage and our users were complaining about slow system response. We evaluated EMC unified storage, NetApp and Hitachi based on their technical capabilities, system performance, ease of expandability and manageability, cost and service agreements," said Vic Hatridge, vice president and chief information officer at NES.

"We add about 10 terabytes of data every 12 months. Before we were worried about having to put a lot of new projects on hold due to overwhelming storage demand," added Ricky Davis, Infrastructure Manager with CIBER, Inc. at NES. "Now, with the VNX, those worries are gone and we'll be able to scale our storage capacity very easily as new applications and requirements are needed."

NES's new 370-terabyte EMC unified storage infrastructure comprises two EMC VNX systems, each configured with 600-gigabyte SAS drives and 2-terabyte nearline SAS (NL SAS) drives. One VNX is located at the primary data center and a second VNX is at NES' disaster recovery site approximately 20 miles away. NES runs its production applications on the SAS drives, including its outage management system, GIS, Oracle-based enterprise resource planning, PeopleSoft human resources, Microsoft SQL Server-based call management, Microsoft Exchange email and Microsoft SharePoint collaboration solution. The NL SAS drives will store archived data including email, Microsoft Word documents and other infrequently accessed information.

Approximately 90-percent of the production environment is virtualized using VMware vSphere, with 200 virtual servers running on 16 VMware physical servers. NES uses EMC Unisphere, which provides a simple and intuitive interface to provision, monitor and manage storage for the utility's virtualized and physical servers. For disaster recovery, the EMC RecoverPoint solution will provide continuous remote replication (CRR) between the two VNX systems in separate data centers located 20 miles apart.

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