WHSmith News has taken the first steps towards information lifecycle management (ILM) by implementing a tiered storage architecture and management software. The new environment will help manage over 101,000 SAP transactions an hour, reduce storage costs by 50 percent per annum and cut daily backup from 13 to just six hours. Using the EMC ILM products, WHSmith News is expecting to generate a return on investment in three years – one year earlier than planned.

Robert Wilson, WHSmith News CTO, said, “We initiated a project to look at ways to make technology exploit our information assets more effectively. We wanted to move to a new architecture with minimal risk to the business, while ensuring that the chosen solution improved information management and reduced costs. The independent analysis we completed confirmed that EMC was the only vendor capable of offering a complete systems, software and services solution for information lifecycle management.”

Working with outsourcing partner, Capgemini, WHSmith News has implemented a tiered storage architecture to store information on the most cost effective system as its value changes. WHSmith News is now running its SAP applications and Oracle databases on two EMC Symmetrix DMX2000 systems for better performance and availability, while using an EMC CLARiiON CX700 with ATA discs for 24x7 what EMC's release terms 'archiving'. I think we'll call it disk-to-disk backup.

To support its storage area network (SAN) and network attached storage (NAS) systems, WHSmith News is using EMC software including:-

- EMC ControlCenter for infrastructure management,
- EMC SRDF for data replication between the Symmetrix DMX systems,
- EMC Legato NetWorker for backup and recovery.

WHSmith News backs up 21 terabytes of data every day and Legato NetWorker moves it from the disk systems to tape for long-term, offsite storage. (I think we'll call this archiving.)

“By deploying a tiered infrastructure and automating the movement of data between tiers, our information has a lifecycle of one day. We have an architecture that provides complete availability and performance for our key applications, while simplifying information management for reduced costs. EMC has delivered a win-win for WHSmith News,” said Wilson.

As part of WHSmith News’ information management strategy, it is utilising EMC OpenScale for ‘pay-as-you go’ billing of its storage environment. EMC Technology Services Group designed, built and migrated systems and data to the new EMC architecture.