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Enabling business breakthroughs

In Australia, Karoon Gas found that as its business requirements grew, access to various data sets from different locations slowed down. This latency was causing a slow-down and a loss of productivity to users accessing those data sets.

This situation was unacceptable to Karoon Gas, an Australian Stock Exchange-listed energy exploration company whose core strategy is to explore and develop acreage that is highly prospective for oil and gas. It required fast access to the data at all times and needed a reliable, scalable, and high-quality storage infrastructure.

To alleviate these challenges and concerns, Karoon Gas sought out NetApp to help it develop a reliable, upgradable, centralised storage solution. It decided to install a NetApp FAS3020 fabric-attached storage system to meet its growing need for storage capacity that can retrieve data at high speeds.

The FAS3020 is an enterprise-level, mission-critical data management platform that is simple to manage and suitable for both SAN and NAS environments. It offers high performance and scalability and has been proven to have a lower total cost of ownership. Karoon Gas doubled its networked storage capacity by adding two trays of disks with 14 disks in each tray at 300GB per disk.

The NetApp FAS3020 storage system let Karoon Gas create a storage infrastructure in which data protection and availability are guaranteed. The solution also gave the company the ability to respond quickly to changes in the business environment with non-disruptive scaling and flexible allocation. Overall, it increased productivity through reliable, secure, high quality, and faster data retrieval.

Simplifying storage

Another publically-listed company which found a NetApp solution met its needs was Gaznat, which has the primary task of supplying French-speaking Switzerland with natural gas. The company’s activities focus on the purchase, transport, storage and sale of natural gas.

Since 2005, Gaznat has operated two data centres in Switzerland, one as the management and administration centre and the other as the technical location. The storage devices were separated from one another by the network and there were no redundancies between the two locations. The challenge was to simplify data storage at the two locations and establish an automated disaster recovery system.

Gaznat implemented a redundant Fibre Channel SAN and MetroCluster architecture from NetApp to support a VMware environment. The data from the two locations was to be consolidated and each location was to serve as insurance against failures at the other location.

An active configured cluster architecture consisting of two NetApp FAS3020 controllers was installed to create the redundant infrastructure. Gaznat saves all data from the administration and inventory of AutoCAD files for the construction of gas lines on the NetApp systems. The company uses NetApp Snapshot and SnapVault software to replicate and back up the data between the redundant systems.

This solution ensured the data was protected, it saved 45% storage space through deduplication, and system reliability was increased as was the ability to expand. It also simplified management of data growth and administration, and reduced maintenance times.

Performance boost

Down in the Gulf of Mexico, Newfield Exploration, an independent crude oil and natural gas exploration and production company, opted to eliminate costly local storage by standardising across global geographies.

The company, with annual revenues in excess of $1 billion and ranked among the top operators in the Gulf of Mexico in terms of daily gross production, also wanted to optimise performance and flexibility and improve data availability and recoverability.

At the same time, Newfield’s user community was clamouring for more storage capacity and was unwilling to sacrifice performance, especially on the technical side, where data-intensive seismic-processing applications place heavy demands on storage. Newfield wanted to completely re-architect its infrastructure and standardise on a single long-term solution capable of supporting both the main Newfield data centre and small remote sites.

Newfield: implemented a NetApp IP SAN solution to store key data using the iSCSI protocol; installed a NetApp NearStore system that added capacity for economical archival storage and non-performance-critical seismic attribute processing; and standardised on NetApp storage and implemented an IP SAN solution.

Standardising on NetApp storage supported Newfield’s corporate commitment to applying the best technology available while preserving a low-cost structure. Today, NetApp storage provides integrated NAS and SAN functionality to store all critical Newfield Exploration data, including production databases supporting Oracle Financials.

The company also implemented a NetApp IP SAN solution to store key Windows application data – Exchange stores, Web stores, and SQL Server databases using the iSCSI protocol. A NetApp NearStore system adds capacity for economical archival storage and non-performance-critical seismic attribute processing.

Among the business benefits realised were increased performance by 20% , an eight-minute server recoverability, lowered total cost of ownership, consolidated storage, simplified administration and the acquisition of a scalable, global architecture.

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