Workforce solutions provider, Skilled Group, with the help of IT services provider, Thomas Duryea, deployed a Brocade ethernet and fibre channel storage area network.
The zero-downtime environment support’s Skilled Group’s mission critical applications.
The implementation involved Ethernet fabrics based on Brocade VDX switches and VCS fabric technology to connect its primary data center to a secondary site 30kms away.
The VDX switches create a virtualised infrastructure that provides failover and IP replication services to the Brocade Gen 5 Fibre Channel SANs within each location. This ensures a resilient foundation between servers and a broad array of EMC high-end and midrange storage systems.
Skilled Group has more than 80 local and regional offices across A/NZ, UK, Malta and UAE, with about 50,000 employees.
Skilled Group technical analyst, Pavel Rogik, said its business relies on automation, standardisation and centralisation of its core proccesses that require a zero-downtime IT environment so applications are constantly available.
“To achieve this, we deployed Brocade Ethernet and SAN fabrics to link our data centers so that they behave as a single entity,” Rogik said.
Skilled was able to deploy the VDX switches across both data centers in under four hours.
Inside each data center, the VDX switches enable active connections between Skilled Group’s SANs, which use Brocade Gen 5 fibre channel technology. Multiple Brocade 6510 switches provide connectivity between Oracle SPARC servers and a wide range of EMC storage, including VMAX, VNX,VPLEX, Isilon, and XtremIO systems.
Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) is local to each data center and used as a backup path for the EMC VPLEX systems.
In addition, EMC PowerPath management software monitors the health and status of the storage fabrics and decides when to move data between the Fibre Channel SANs inside each data center, or even between data centers, to maintain application availability.