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2 Case Study 3: Carlson Companies Charles Tinsley CIS 505 May 21, 2017
Introduction Carson Companies is one of the largest held companies in the US. 3 The Company has over 180,000 employees in more than 140 countries. 4 The Company acts as a service provider to its internal clients, and it must support a spectrum of user services and applications. It uses a centralized data processing model to meet its operational requirements. Its central computing environment includes IBM mainframe and about 50 networked HP and Sun servers. This paper examines a case study regarding Carson Companies. 5 First, I will assess how Carson companies’ SAN approach would be implemented in today’s environment. 6 Second, I will compare the cons and pros if consolidating data on a SAN data facility versus the dispersed arrangement it replaces.Third, I will evaluate the issues raised from the Carson SAN mixing equipment from some vendors and determine the management options for dealing with this type of situation. Fourth, I will justify a reduction of administration and management of storage networking through Carlson’s IP SAN. 5 Lastly, I will assess how cloud computing could be used by Carson Companies instead of a SAN. Additionally, I will create a diagram using an open source software to illustrate the use of cloud computing.
How the Carlson SAN approach would be implemented in today’s environment Carson’s Companies IT organization concluded that the Company required a SAN approach. The Company’s shared service group provides IT services for all Carson’s companies, evaluated IP options and Fiber Channel for building the SAN. One of the challenges the organization faced was to provide storage services to its remote offices. The company also faced problems with recovery and back-up. 7 After an examination, the initial cost of going with Fiber channel was the same with IP, but they settled for IP approach as it would save money in the long-run.
8 Carson SAN approach which IP SAN approach can be implemented in today’s environment. One of the main pro with IP SCAN approach is the ability to use simple IP management tool. 9 The IP SAN approach can be implemented in today’s technology with the help of storage switches, and Gigabit Ethernet switches with Fiber Channel. 10Ethernet switches carry IP traffic among servers and also between central storage and servers (Nogueira, 2007).
IP SAN approach employed by Carson companies is a high-speed network of storage devices that also connects those storage devices with servers. The approach also provides block-level storage which can be accessed by other applications running on any networked servers. The approach also offers excellent flexibility, performance, and availability. The approach often gives the organization the ability to avoid the purchase of extra hardware, and it is helpful in recovery and backup settings. The approach as known for its capacity, a pool of shared block storage devices which utilizes storage protocols and relies on the Internet Engineering Taskforce (IEFT).
SAN central data facility versus the dispersed arrangement The advantages of SAN include cutbacks in downtime, long distance connectivity, enhanced application performance, and scalability. Additionally, a range of storage devices can be added so as to store many terabytes of data without having to interrupt the flow of business operations. 11 A well-configured SAN approach with redundant servers and mirroring can reduce downtime. Some of the disadvantages of SAN include cost. Second, leveraging the currently available technology assets can be tough. Some IT professionals argue that SAN systems are difficult to configure and require high skilled workforce. On the hand dispersed arrangement is not expensive compared to SAN.
Compared to SAN which has few product vendors dispersed arrangement has lots of vendors. Compared to SAN, dispersed arrangement has a lower application performance and less improved availability of applications. Another limitation of dispersed management is that of limited distance imposed by the interface.
The issues that will arise from the Carson SAN mixing equipment from a number of vendors Carson companies will have operational problems by utilizing multiple vendor approaches from its SAN network. 9 There are about four major areas that need to be used so as to deal with the operational issues. 7 These are supported escalation, network management, the level of interoperability among different vendors and training and availability of the skilled staff to manage equipment from various suppliers. By the Company choosing equipment from the same product vendor, it is always opted to be the best as the pieces are designed to work together. Additionally, same supplier pieces are designed to make sure that one is satisfied with their functionality. Carlson Companies need to utilize the training provided by the same vendor. Additionally, Carlson Companies need to utilize vendor-independent Simple Network Management tools (SNMP) like Dartware Inter-Mapper and CA Spectrum for configuration and performance management. These tools only help in single vendor network (International Conference on Computer Science and Its Applications, 2014).
6 Justification of Carlson’s Companies IP SAN conversion Carlson’s Companies use of IP SAN helps in the reduction of the ongoing management and administration of storage networking by taking advantage of well-understood and well-established IP networking technologies. IP SAN also reduces the storage management costs that are associated with DAS. 7 Additionally, by networking the storage devices and also providing centralized storage management, in IP SAN, the single administrator can manage a greater amount of storage from a single console. 5 Lastly, IP SAN helps in putting storage data over IP facilities thus integration of more efficient storage services for the organization’s enterprise-wide network (Nogueira, 2007).
4 How Cloud computing could be used by Carlson instead of a SAN The concept of cloud computing has been around for decades now. Initially, the concept was not viable as it is today. Since 2009, there has been increased technological advancement and an increased business needs which led to the employment of cloud computing so as to meet future and existing demands. Cloud computing concept offers and increased service capability and data storage capacity without employing new personnel and having an IT infrastructure. Additionally, cloud computing offers a greater service without having to re-build the organization’s IT infrastructure (Catlett, 2013).
If the concept of cloud computing was there when instead of SAN, Carlson Companies would have allowed an increased storage capacities, improved system management, network connectivity, access servers quickly and an improved data backup. The diagram below shows how Carlson companies could have made use of cloud-computing technologies.
References Catlett, C. (2013). Cloud computing and big data. Amsterdam: IOS Press.
International Conference on Computer Science and Its Applications, & In Obaidat, M. S. (2014). 12 Advanced in Computer Science and Its Applications: CSA 201 Nogueira, J. M., Pfeifer, T., & Wu, S. F. (2007). IP Operations and Management: 7th IEEE International Workshop, IPOM 2007 San José, USA, October 31 – November 2, 2007 Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: 13 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.