MYOB accounts for storage with virtualisation

Hundreds of virtual machines needed for testing, and consolidation of existing infrastructure also freed up data centre space and improve disaster recovery.

Accounting software maker MYOB has consolidated its storage from distributed servers to a virtualised SAN system to reduce costs and speed up its server provisioning capability.

With four data centres in Melbourne and Sydney supporting some 1200 staff worldwide, MYOB was an early adopter of virtualization and has been using VMware since 2003.

MYOB chief technology officer Simon Raik-Allen said at any given time the development team may operate hundreds of virtual machines to test its software on the many different platforms used by its customers.

“With increased virtual server usage, coupled with the implementation of a new CRM system, we needed more storage,” Raik-Allen said.

MYOB’s existing 26TB EMC SAN system reached capacity as the organization grew and there was also distributed storage on servers that could be consolidated.

The company runs six IBM x3950 servers and four IBM x3650 ESX servers at its head office, which run Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Sun Solaris operating systems.

MYOB is now migrating 30TB of data residing on the IBM servers to another EMC CX3-80 storage array at the Melbourne data centre. This array is connected to an EMC NAS gateway for data archiving.

CTO Raik-Allen said this architecture has allowed the consolidation of existing infrastructure to free more data centre space [and] “provide more availability and use the IBM servers for disaster recovery”.

“It would normally take a full day to deploy a physical server for testing and product development; now it takes around 15 to 20 minutes,” he said. “The time saved allows us to free up staff to do other things and enables our developers to focus on their key deliverables.”

MYOB is now using EMC RecoverPoint to provide disaster recovery services for CRM data as well as for the databases used to store its customers’ bank transaction information

“All data is backed up on our disaster recovery database in our second data centre,” Raik-Allen said. “In the event of a disaster, we can recover our databases within one hour. Without the solution, we would have to recall tapes, and go through complete database recovery procedures to restore service.”

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