Setting the Scene
The West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is the county-wide, statutory emergency fire and rescue service for the metropolitan county of West Yorkshire, England. It is administered by the Fire and Rescue Authority, a group of 22 councillors who are appointed annually from the five metropolitan districts of West Yorkshire.
The service had ageing legacy storage infrastructure which was proving time consuming and difficult to manage including manually upgrading firmware for both shelves and disks. These updates needed scheduled downtime.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service needed a solution which would:
• Remove the need for an expert to be involved in managing storage for their virtualised environment
• Enable fast provisioning for the purpose of development
• Eliminate downtime to improve 24×7 availability
• Reduce costs
• Take control of managing storage in-house
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service went to market to test and investigate other technologies before deciding on Nimble Storage. Initially, there was no established relationship between NG-IT and the fire service, however we were able to utilise our level of expertise as the largest Nimble reseller in Europe.
The immediate benefit was the ease of transfer from their old storage to the new and complete data migration with zero downtime. The Nimble solution included iSCSI storage with built in replication and snapshotting which could be used as a means of back up and replication to a DR site. The ease of carrying out updates made management far less time consuming. The fire service no longer needed to rely upon a dedicated person to monitor storage thanks to the proactive monitoring capabilities (Infosight) from Nimble which represented another cost saving.
Martin Brown, ICT Infrastructure Manager at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service described NG-IT as being “both flexible and accommodating.”