Dear Friends,

If this is of interest or not, PLEASE feel free to pass on this to friends or colleague who might be able to assist.

I have been asked to assist a client in Africa (A multi-miliion dollar) mining company to identify Data Storage Solution. I must admit this area is new to me as I have been managing Governance projects in the past.

Below are details of what the current environment is and also what they are looking for. I will appreciate if someone can take their time to review the below and assist, I will also be interested to award the contract to the person who might present a good design for this client of mine.

The current setup is that they have 5 physical servers, 12 virtual servers and also 4 other servers at their head office and guest house. I have a budget of about US$150,000.00 (One hundred and fifty thousand US dollars)

Current Storage Setup

The environment is based on Network Attached Network (NAS) that has been in existence since 2009. All storage units are IBM branded.

The current setup is that Data is stored on a fileserver with 670 GB in capacity which is resident in physical hard drives connected to server via on board SAS controllers. RAID 0 is used on the physical computer hosting the database server and RAID 5 on the rest of the servers supporting approximately 650 users across a wide area network of the mine.

Daily usage

The daily data store requirement currently sits at 200MB. The current policy is to rotate diary tapes cumulative building up to weekly and eventually monthly. It is estimated that 70% of user and databases data has been used leaving about 30%. This poses a risk due to continuous growth of user base and their production data.

System Stability

From time to time although not a major issue, the mine has been experiencing slowdown in network especially when backups are in progress. When this happens, backups usually take longer to complete.

Need for change

The user community is continuously growing. User data is also growing steadily, similarly, Database are fast growing on an upward trend. Due to consistent data growth, Mimosa’s data is expected to grow by 150GB annually. The mine is planning on keeping online backups that constitute .5TB per month growing to approximately 6TB annually and 30TB in the next 5 years.

There is need to review the current setup aiming to investigate green IT approaches/ best practice and other ways of bringing in start of technology to address real-time backup for quick access and recovery.

My client has acknowledged that staying on the current storage arrangement has serious and costly strategic implications. They have therefore identified an opportunity to work on a replacement of its old systems as a matter of urgency.