- July 25, 2011
- Case Study
GSE Power Systems provides real-time simulation and training solutions for the electric power, oil and gas and chemical process industries.
July 25, 2011 – GSE Power Systems deployed a RELDATA storage system for centralized storage and replication to more efficiently manage and protect its customer data to support complex integration and configuration activities. GSE Power Systems, headquartered in Sykesville, Maryland, provides real-time simulation and training solutions for the electric power, oil and gas and chemical process industries. The company has delivered more than 1,100 simulation and training applications that teach employees how to operate equipment safely to hundreds of customers in more than 50 countries around the world. "Activating our simulation and training applications at customer sites is a highly complex process where data protection plays a key role," said Jay Umholtz, information technology director at GSE Power Systems. “We work with scores of computers and systems from many different vendors across a wide variety of operating systems, during integration and testing. Often, the real time simulator connects to 10,000 to 20,000 IO Points. That represents millions of lines of engineering modeling code to produce the realistic training experience that our customers require. Protecting this information is a critical component of any given project." Previously, GSE Power Systems had several servers, each with direct attached storage, at its Maryland headquarters and a branch office in Georgia, with both locations connected via a limited-bandwidth T3 link. Systems were not replicated at either location and data recovery was done from tape. The company wanted to upgrade to a centralized storage model, either iSCSI or NAS, at headquarters and replicate data to Georgia via the T3 line. Replication would have to be scheduled after normal business hours, as the line was in use for other business operations during the day. The company further specified that it wanted a system that would enable it to deploy either NAS or SAN, without having to purchase a separate system for each. After examining several alternatives, GSE Power Systems decided the RELDATA 9240i offered the capabilities it was looking for in a primary storage solution. While the flexible, unified RELDATA solution offers both SAN and NAS capabilities, the company decided to initially deploy an iSCSI SAN. As its data storage requirements expand and it deploys virtualized servers, GSE Power Systems will be able to add NAS capabilities in the future to create a truly unified storage environment. And although the company is still using the T3 link between its two storage sites, the RELDATA solution supports 10GbE communications, which will allow GSE Power Systems to upgrade the link in the future any additional and costly hardware upgrades. Today, a RELDATA 9240i with 24TBs capacity is installed at GSE’s Maryland headquarters and is duplicated at the remote location in Georgia for fail-safe remote data recovery. The system includes iSCSI SAN and replication software licenses, twelve 2TB 7.2K RPM SATA drives and two expansion shelves, each with 2TB 7.2K RPM SATA drives. In the future, the company plans to add a third site, which will integrate seamlessly into its existing infrastructure. Because low-capacity snapshots are a key feature of RELDATA's RELVOS operating system, GSE Power Systems' IT staff can easily restore files and other data from snapshots throughout the day at the primary site, without the need to recover from tape. Replication takes place after business hours over existing bandwidth. The RELDATA system only replicates incremental changes to the data at the Georgia side, thereby eliminating the need to purchase expensive de-duplication or WAN acceleration technologies. Leveraging RELDATA’s asynchronous replication and snapshot technologies effectively increases GSE Power Systems' recovery point objectives (RPO) while significantly decreasing its recovery time objectives (RTO). "GSE Power Systems needed more than just commodity storage, it needed a flexible solution that would solve its immediate needs and provide instantaneous benefits, yet also position it to add new capabilities as its business requirements change," said Victor Walker, CEO, RELDATA. "We're pleased that our unified storage solution gives GSE Power Systems a future-proof solution that allows them to deploy either a NAS, SAN or unified storage solution to support their requirements and help manage their business." About RELDATA RELDATA provides unified block and file storage solutions over iSCSI which cost-effectively enable mid-size and distributed enterprises to nondisruptively consolidate, virtualize and protect data storage, providing highly scalable, cost-effective integrated storage, disaster recovery and high availability solutions. The RELDATA Unified Storage Engine (USE) platform allows companies to integrate their existing storage infrastructure to minimize the functional compromise of siloed block and file solutions while reducing administration costs and data protection compliance risk, and preserve current storage investments at lower total costs. Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, RELDATA solutions are available through a global network of value added resellers.Learn More
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