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Utah Paper Box

Utah Paper Box achieves Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery through Storage Consolidation and Virtualization

The company implements a three phase plan to increase storage, performance, and backup infrastructure

Background

Based out of Salt Lake City, Utah Paper Box provides professional, high-quality industrial packaging for companies in the food, medical, pharmaceutical, automotive, and other industries nationwide. For nearly a century, this family-owned company has grown to over 200 employees within their Salt Lake City headquarters. As the company grew, so did the servers and managing the IT department became larger and more complex. The Utah Paper Box executive team finally understood that in event of a simple server failure, it would cripple operations and business viability.

Challenges

The Utah Paper Box IT Department and Executive Team were in the midst of reevaluating their datacenter to meet more demanding Service Level Agreement (SLA) guidelines. Managing 15 individual servers with direct attached storage and no redundancy had become an encumbrance. The company found its IT environment dated, overall time consuming and inefficient to manage and monitor. The server and storage environment was isolated, distributed and had no logical recourse in the event of a server failure. Application failure and data loss is a liability that would have severely crippled the company’s daily operations. Utah Paper Box ultimately decided the combination of storage and server virtualization and centralization would provide both redundancy and availability.

The mission was to provide higher level of service uptime while reducing costs. This provided a framework in which to base application, server, and storage continuity while providing the first measured RTO (Recovery Time Objective) and RPO (Recovery Point Objective) in the event of any disaster.

The main concern was server failure. The company would lose critical data that would be nearly impossible to recover. Utah Paper Box was in dire need of a highly available storage solution and disaster recovery plan that would safeguard their data.

With this in mind, the company turned to Kirby Park of Ramsys Computer, to voice their concerns. Park evangelized the importance of datacenter consolidation and virtualization and how this would be the framework to resolving their current problem while providing a sound platform for future growth. After some talk, Utah Paper Box committed to this strategy, “They [Utah Paper Box] finally decided that storage consolidation was invaluable,” says Park, “because it would facilitate their storage pool management and give them better efficiency and return on investment.”

Solution

After careful analysis of their options, along with consultations with Kirby Park and StoneFly’s Channel Director Ken Friend, Utah Paper Box found the best solution to be the StoneFly Voyager TSC-12 IP SAN Appliance, which supports SAS, SSD, and SATA drives. StoneFly’s Voyager TSC included advanced storage features such as snapshots, replication, mirroring, and thin provisioning in order to meet project requirements. For site and data redundancy, Utah Paper Box implemented StoneFly’s Storage Concentrator Virtual Machine (SCVM™) as an asynchronous data mirror target at a secondary location. “The SCVM™ is essentially a disaster recovery site in a box robust enough to be a SAN replication target while hosting critical applications,” states Friend, “today, UPB enjoys multisite disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity solution ensuring application, server, and data availability while exceeding corporate service level mandates!”

Utah Paper Box’s IT Manager Sean Brady admits that there were several attractive selling points which compelled the company to purchase the StoneFly. Namely its cost-effective pricing, virtualization, redundancy, and most particularly the ease of backing up data were factors that the company focused its attention.

“StoneFly was better with their iSCSI technology,” says Brady, “and the option for a 10Gbsolution that’s price effective and being able to upgrade certain components were features that attracted us to the StoneFly solution.”

Benefits

After implementing the StoneFly Voyager and SCVM™, the company reduced costs associated with every aspect of the datacenter. The solution shrunk rack space requirements resulting in increased free space and lower power consumption, as well as reduced HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) costs. Furthermore, centralized management of both servers and storage reduced resource overhead. The company even saw marked improvements in application performance, testing and project release, and backup/recovery releases.

Utah Paper Box quickly realized the advantages that the StoneFly solutions had on their datacenter consolidation and data recovery project. “With the StoneFly we are virtualizing at 95%, where we maintain the hardware on 3 servers as opposed to 15 servers,” says Brady.

Today, the company’s datacenter has been fully consolidated, reducing the number of servers by 80% and centralizing their data into one powerful SAN solution offering 99.999% uptime. Furthermore by utilizing SCVM™ for offsite replication, Utah Paper Box has now created a fully redundant DR site with an outstanding one hour recovery time objective. This will not only safeguard their data in a way that was impossible in their previous datacenter environment, but drastically increase overall performance at the same time. “I worry less about losing data than I use to,” says Sean Brady, “backing up has been simplified with StoneFly.”

And finally, with their StoneFly Voyager, the company has the flexibility to expand their ever growing IT environment. Equipped with built-in redundancy as well as plug-and-play capacity and storage expansion, Utah Paper Box currently operates with a data center ready for their ever expanding IT operations.

 Utah Paper Box

 

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