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May 11, 2009

NetApp, Microsoft help A & A to improve IT efficiency

Consolidated multiple applications and reduced number of physical servers

By CBR Staff Writer

NetApp, a provider of storage and data management systems, and Microsoft have announced that A & A Contract Customs Brokers, a customs and freight broker, has achieved IT efficiency gains by using Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V technology and Microsoft System Center with NetApp storage systems.

A & A needed a scalable server and storage architecture that would unlock the full potential of its virtualization environment. Therefore, the company consolidated its server and storage infrastructure based on a virtualization system with Microsoft and NetApp.

A & A consolidated multiple applications and reduced its number of physical servers using Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V technology and Microsoft System Center. The consolidation project helped A & A: reduce the total number of servers required by nearly 60% to run Microsoft Office SharePoint Server and eight proprietary applications; administer both physical and virtual assets using the Microsoft System Center suite of systems management tools; and improve overall system availability using the built-in clustering capabilities of Windows Server 2008 to automate the failover of servers.

Dan Morris, systems engineer at A & A Contract Customs Brokers, said: Our antiquated direct-attached storage system was not meeting our growth and management challenges. We were continually adding more disk drives as a short-term solution to scale storage capacity. And we desperately needed to consolidate our servers as well. While server virtualization alleviated part of our problem, we still experienced disk capacity issues that constrained our virtualized environment.

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