IP Australia, the Australian Government agency that administers patents, trademarks, designs and plant breeder’s rights systems, has consolidated its storage systems and chosen NetApp as sole supplier to underpin applications including Lotus Domino, SAP, Oracle databases and bespoke software.
The decision to consolidate came after the agency experienced 500% growth in data volumes over five years, with its collection of data growing from between 10 and 12 terabytes in 2005 to 60-plus terabytes today.
Managing that data was a chore, as the agency possessed diverse storage systems but few staff skilled on all its platforms.
The Gershon Review was another pressure point for the agency, as its identification as a major agency made it subject to the report’s recommendation to reduce its ongoing IT costs.
Backup times had also become an issue, according to Peter Weber, Storage and Capacity Manager, in the agency’s Infrastructure Services team.
“Backing up data was a slow, difficult process which would sometimes take up to 30 hours, which meant performance of systems was impacted for extended periods,” he says in a case study supplied to SearchStorage ANZ. “Backups before application upgrades often took longer than the upgrade itself.”
The document provided to SearchStorage ANZ does not mention other vendors IP Australia considered for its new systems, but does say it “ ... IP Australia engaged NetApp to implement a storage-as-a-service solution with the flexibility to support network-attached storage (NAS) workloads to solve the problems of scalability and availability of information.”
That engagement has seen the organisation acquire a “clustered solution based on a NetApp FAS3050C system,” plus a FAS3020A device for its development environment. NetApp’s SnapMirror is used to replicate data between the two systems, and to assist with backups.
Weber says the organisation is also using NetApp SnapShot and has “reduced the online backup time for our databases from many hours or more, to literally minutes or seconds. The benefit is substantially reduced impact on business performance whilst the backups are taking place.”
“We now have one copy of the Oracle application on the NAS, clone it with NetApp FlexClone so it takes no space, then deploy the clone across the Oracle servers,” Weber says in the document. “This has given us a space savings ratio of 40 to one. It only takes about 20 seconds to create the clone, which is less time than it takes to shut down the database and bring it back up. This process alone has given our business substantial productivity and efficiency gains through the time and storage space we’ve saved.”