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Isle of Man races to the Cloud with EMC VPLEX

Integration with EMC Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) and Unified Storage reduces operating costs by 15 percent; improves performance by eight times; and increases utilisation of existing storage by 40 percent.


Date: 26 Sep 2011

The Isle of Man Government’s Information Systems Division has implemented a cloud-based technology infrastructure for more efficient, flexible and reliable delivery of its public services, using EMC VPLEX technology and EMC Unified Storage with solid-state flash drives.

As part of its IT transformation initiative, the Government’s entire public service infrastructure has been moved onto a hybrid cloud service, providing shared access-anywhere, including over 1,000 critical government applications such as email, financial accounting, customer relationship management and health services.

Customer Benefits:
• Enhanced performance and reduced operating costs: Data availability and system performance has improved by eight times. Operating costs have fallen by 15 per cent
• Improved storage utilisation: The usage of existing storage resources has been increased by 40 percent, meaning that the disk pool will now only require an upgrade when it reaches 80% capacity, instead of the previous 60%
• Automatic storage optimisation: VPLEX with Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) automatically analyses system usage patterns for improved operational efficiency
• Data transfer to fast-access storage: In-demand applications and data are automatically moved to flash drives for increased availability, then back onto disk arrays as demand reduces

The Isle of Man has deployed a combination of the EMC VPLEX virtual storage platform – a critical enabler for the journey to the cloud which allows organisations to federate information across multiple data centres and access it from anywhere – with EMC Unified Storage. This platform is enabling the Isle of Man with new approaches for delivering IT as a flexible, efficient, and reliable service.

Peter Clarke, Chief Technology Officer at the Isle of Man Government, said, “The Isle of Man Government is an early adopter of new technologies, and our analysis indicated that VPLEX would reduce operating costs by 15 per cent. We wrote our business plan around this. It was a compelling argument. Having recognised that VPLEX could further increase service levels while reducing IT costs, we made the decision to purchase – and we are delighted to have realised the projected benefits, and more.”

“By virtualising our entire server platform and all service applications, the Isle of Man Government has significantly increased service levels as well as data flexibility and availability. In the case of the health service, this means individual patient records are now aggregated and appropriate information made instantly available to doctors, EMT specialists, ambulance technicians, surgeons, nurses and other authorised users,” added Clarke.

Demand for the Isle of Man Government’s public service infrastructure varies regularly due to factors such as tourism seasonality, shift work in government offices and annual events such as the island’s famous TT motorcycle race. The Government’s legacy system was disk-based and tiered in three layers. Previously, when demand for certain applications and data increased, the Information Systems Division would have to manually assign each to a higher tier level.

Now VPLEX Metro, with EMC’s industry-leading FAST technology, analyses system usage patterns and automatically moves in-demand applications to flash drives for increased availability. As demand falls back, the relevant assets are moved back onto disk arrays.

Implemented over five months, the new public service infrastructure has increased data availability and system performance by a factor of eight, while operating costs have reduced by 15 per cent. Storage utilisation has risen by 40 percent – using the same amount of hardware as before – and capacity of the Government’s storage area network has tripled. In addition, VPLEX has improved system flexibility by allowing the Isle of Man Government to transfer services from one data centre to another in real time.


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