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The SAN sweetener deal for Perfetti

Jasmine Desai, Principal Correspondent

Perfetti Van Melle India Pvt Ltd (PVM) is certainly on a constant search to find a perfect sweet for its customers. Since its inception in 1994 with the "Center Fresh" brand, the company now has 13 well-known brands to its credit. But the journey has not been easy. Managing so many brands calls for strong IT infrastructure, and this was where the company found itself lacking.

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Earlier, PVM used two HP MSA1000 storage boxes with basic SAN capabilities. As Basant Chaturvedi, the head of IT for Perfetti, says, "One reason to discard MSA1000 was the slow performance of SAP, since we had plans to run mission critical applications. The I/O cache rate was higher, and MSA was unable to support our requirement. A SAN solution seemed best."

Sometime in late 2007, Perfetti began scouting for a sophisticated storage solution. According to Chaturvedi, "We were going by performance and support. We evaluated solutions from EMC and NetApp. IBM also approached us, but we found their box lacking in terms of capabilities, compared to HP at that point in time."

Perfetti settled on HP EVA4100, and the solution was moved into its premises by January 2008. The company began with migration of data, followed by the individual servers. EVA4100 offers a total usable capacity of 9 TB and a total capacity of 13 TB. It seems sufficient considering that per month data growth is 15 to 20 GB. The SAN has both fiber, as well as SATA based storage. When it comes to SATA, a lot of space is used to store server files. The SAN is connected to seven physical servers (HP Integrity rx4640 and HP ProLiant BL460c servers on chassis based) and 41 virtual servers. Server virtualization has been executed by VMware. The total user base is 500, while there are 170 users working on SAP.


The gains

The benefits are manifold. Chaturvedi says, "We were dependent on the huge servers and local storage, which was on direct attached storage. If we want to ensure business continuity and disaster recovery, storage is the single point of contact for us."

Besides these, the backup cycle has reduced considerably. With CIOs talking green, the SAN (along with server virtualization), has reduced Perfetti's power and cooling requirements by 2 million KW per year.

Talking about future plans, Chaturvedi says, "We plan to implement business intelligence solutions and the SAN is already exhausting its capacity. So we will upgrade our SAN's capacity in 2010." Perfetti plans to put its existing storage on its business continuity site and purchase new storage for primary site.

Preferring to stick to the solution's affordability, Chaturvedi says, "SAN is much cheaper now. It is affordable even by small industries. The message is basically all about savings on power, cooling, space and realization of performance."