BMC Software, founded in 1980, is a Business Service Management software and solutions provider. BMC’s services cover many functional areas of business, from application automation to IT financial planning and budgeting. The company is headquartered in Houston, Texas, with international headquarters in Amsterdam and Singapore. Its 6,000 employees operate in 124 countries worldwide. BMC is a member of the S&P 500 index.
BMC housed over 13,000 VMware images that were outgrowing the company’s traditional storage infrastructure. BMC needed to find a new storage option that would allow it to warehouse the images while still maintaining immediate access, if necessary. In addition, the company wanted to streamline backup and disaster recovery (DR) for its remote sales offices. The offices were relying on a costly and inefficient tape storage method that required backup tapes to be shipped from off-site locations. In light of these obstacles, BMC called upon the expertise of Enterprise Cloud Storage providers StorSimple.
StorSimple worked with BMC’s Enterprise Architect, Gus Chavira, to create a hybrid solution that involves storing the majority of the VMware images within Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). However, a small portion of the images are considered “hot,” or active, at any one time. These active images remain in the company’s traditional Storage Area Network (SAN) and are automatically rotated out by StorSimple’s storage appliance.
To overcome the sales offices’ cumbersome backup and DR system, BMC considered expanding and mirroring existing SANs. StorSimple helped the company avoid this expensive undertaking by creating an Amazon S3-based solution that also includes primary storage and archived data. With the addition of a StorSimple management appliance, BMC is now able to oversee all of its sales office data from one simple interface. Gus Chavira notes that AWS and StorSimple “give us the ability to restore data from off-site backups in minutes rather than five days.”
BMC did not even have to alter its existing wide area network security policies because Amazon S3 includes secure endpoint connections with the HTTPS protocol. Therefore, all of the data that passes between BMC’s traditional SAN and its cloud storage is SSL encrypted. Amazon Web Services (AWS) also offers several encryption options to protect the at-rest data after its transition to Amazon S3.
Since implementing its new Amazon S3 storage solutions, BMC has been able to repurpose a large portion of its existing SAN for other applications, thus eliminating the need to purchase new hardware. The company has also been able to reduce administrative overhead, power, and cooling costs by downsizing the number of servers within its remote sales offices. Gus Chavira reports that “BMC realized a five-time savings in capital expenses, over a conventional SAN.”
Although BMC faced a considerable hurdle when it initially decided to migrate and backup its large data store, Gus credits the hybrid approach with his company’s success. He reminds other companies that they do not need to discard their traditional infrastructure, but can instead customize AWS features to meet individual business needs, just as BMC did.
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Added August 1, 2012