Give Your Customer A Storage Education
Systems integrator Connected Technology, LLC knows that remaining a trusted advisor to a customer doesn’t happen just because it solved a customer’s business problems in the past. In fact, customers like South Country Central School District continue to receive bids from multiple service providers for IT projects. Recently, the school district needed to replace several aging servers and improve a daily data backup that was approaching 15 hours. Connected Technology, which had provided tape backup and other storage services in the past, found itself competing against another integrator.
After evaluating the customer’s needs, Connected Technology recommended Network Appliance, Inc.’s StoreVault S500, an all-in-one storage system that supports NAS (network attached storage), iSCSI (Internet small computer system interface), SAN (storage area network), and Fibre Channel (FC) SAN. “The S500 provides Gigabit Ethernet connectivity using the native iSCSI controller, and it supports FC if the customer needs faster connectivity in the future,” says Kevin Urso, president of Connected Technology. Urso’s competitor recommended an FC-only storage solution, which cost more than twice as much as the S500. Connected Technology sealed the deal by showing the school district how the S500 was able to solve multiple storage issues. For instance, one of the features is snapshot, which detects file updates and performs backups of changed files only. According to Urso, this feature alone will reduce the school district’s backup time by more than 60%.
Another selling point of the S500 was its architecture, which makes it possible for the customer to reduce its servers from 13 to 1. “Also, the system features built-in monitoring, which detects when a drive is about to fail, selects a hot spare, and migrates the data from the troubled drive to the spare drive,” says Urso. “The system also includes dual RAID [redundant array of independent disks] parity, which provides a backup drive and a hot spare.”
The storage appliance is configured to back up updated data twice a day — once at noon and a second time at 4 p.m.
The install earned Connected Technology $27,000 and has the potential to bring in additional revenue as the customer adds storage drives and/or migrates to FC in the future. While the customer’s storage migration path isn’t certain, one thing is: Connected Technology works just as hard for its existing customers as it does for new customers.