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 Case Study : HP 9000 High Availability
Backup and SAN  
HP 9000 High
Intel High
Remote Systems

The Requirement
A UK manufacturer approached Preferred with a requirement a for a mission critical environment for their Progress database. Due to strong business growth over successive years their manufacturing process had evolved into a 24x7 operation, as a consequence any unplanned downtime would have a serious impact from operational and financial perspectives.

The new infrastructure was to replace two Unisys 6000 Servers running various business applications developed using a Progress database, these were approaching the end of their 3 year maintenance contracts, Preferred were asked to investigate replacing these legacy systems with a modern, highly available platform to support the company's current and future infrastructure requirements.

A number of key requirements were identified, including:

  • A highly available solution to support their 24x7 operation.
  • A resilient solution enabling automated and transparent fail-over via application or otherwise, ensuring business continuity in the case of losing their primary or secondary computer room through disaster.
  • The solution should offer investment protection and be scalable to cater for future growth as dictated by the business.
  • The solution must be designed & implemented by an IT Infrastructure Specialist with a proven record and demonstrable project management expertise.

The Solution
A dual-site, clustered hp-ux platform was implemented in conjunction with Progress software. Preferred recommended a transparent and automated fail over solution, via the implementation of Hewlett-Packard's award winning ServiceGuard application: in the event of a system failure, HP ServiceGuard automatically re-routes all users to the hot standby server with minimal disruption to the end-user.

The solution comprised two rp54X0's located at the primary & secondary site, both sites connected by dual fibre link. Each Server was connected to a fibre channel disk array via HP SAN Switches. These arrays were mirrored across primary & secondary sites, database synchronization and replication were also provided via HP-UX. The "hot standby" server had redundant links to the primary server which could be activated in the event of a primary system failure. By its very nature the ServiceGuard cluster guaranteed business continuity in the event of a disaster at either site. Both planned and unplanned downtime could now be minimised, ensuring that business-critical applications were highly available to the business.

The Technology

  • HP9000 Server technology,
  • FC Disk Array technology,
  • Serviceguard clustering software,
  • Full component redundancy,
  • Preferred's Remote System Administration Service, to proactively monitor the environment & identify issues before they reached the stage where they could impact on the business operation,
  • GlancePlus software to monitor system performance & provide reporting information to management.
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Preferred Computers & Networks Ltd.
314 Upton Lane
Tel : 0161 786 0900