The successful teaming of several IBM business partners has produced a unique storage solution for financial institution Colonial Australia.
When Alltel, the IT management service who operates and maintains Colonial State Bank's HP 9000 T520 servers at its Sydney data centre, needed to upgrade the system's storage capacity, IBM recommended it call OSIX, a specialist integrator in the field, to help provide the best solution for its customer.
After consulting with Colonial to establish exactly what they wanted their system to achieve, OSIX recommended an IBM serial disk sub- system be adopted, which Alltel then took to the customer.
"IBM's Serial Storage Architecture (SSA) technology was considered superior to the standard SCSI systems offered by competitors," Todd Wright, Alltel technical analyst, said.
Colonial agreed to purchase 144GB of raw disk in the form of 16 x 9GB drives, all mirrored for data protection, delivering 72GB of usable disk space to support its data warehouse application.
"IBM's SSA technology offers such significant performance advantages that it has quickly become a de facto industry standard, with com-panies like Sun moving to develop their own version of this technology," David Reisner, OSIX's director of marketing, claims.
The landmark integration of IBM storage technology with hardware from a competitive supplier was very much "plug and go", according to Reisner.
He claims the company's knowledge of storage management and the idiosyncrasies of the HP-UX operating system, meant it was able to keep customisation to a minimum. Indeed, the final implementation took just two hours.
Reisner said the Colonial storage project is symbolic of a key channel trend. "In the high-end environment, customers are tending to gravitate to vendors so no one is thinking of specific business partners," he claims. "But the skills still reside with the business partners and not the vendors, so IBM has now become our channel."
OSIX has also learnt how to get the attention of the major systems integrators and outsourcers.
"It's almost like McDonald's marketing - you just need to be in front of them all the time," Reisner said.