The Leader in Environmental Testing — TestAmerica Inc. is a key player in ensuring that the environments surrounding our houses, cities and towns are safe. The Colorado-based company helps clients monitor and analyze the quality of natural resources such as air, gas, soil and water.
To support its approximately 40 labs and 3,000 employees across the United States, it has developed TALS, an information management system for sharing and processing data. Speed is an essential component of TALS because the company must be able to deliver customer reports very quickly because of the environmental impacts test results can have.
A new 10TB K2 is now part of the TALS system within a centralized data center delivering at least 300K IOPS and storing approximately 7TB of data. Prior to TALS, TestAmerica used a collection of 25 SQL Server databases that caused synchronization problems and delays in batch processing. They are enjoying great performance results now including a 50 percent improvement in batch processing time and a 75 percent improvement in customer data retrieval time. You can read the case study or the press release.
Kaminario and Dell Compellent — To me, the reason the TestAmerica case study is worth blogging about is because it highlights how well the K2 integrates with traditional storage to give customers a powerful concoction of speed, protection and affordability. In this case, the K2 runs in a clustered, highly available virtualized environment attached to a Dell Compellent SAN. This is a nice win for the customer because they get a true tiered-storage environment with advanced data protection capabilities. For example, users can take a snapshot and copy it from the K2 to the Dell Compellent SAN to conduct SAN to SAN replication. But don’t just take my word for it, here is what Nick Mahmood, VP of IT at TestAmerica had to say, “The K2 added performance, consistency and reliability to our storage environment. In addition, the faster response time directly improved our customer responsiveness and, as a result, our ability to generate more business.”
What it Means —TestAmerica’s solution was built with excellent teamwork led by the company’s IT team and supported by engineers from Kaminario, Dell, Compellent and Sanity Solutions, a local data management solutions provider. This kind of collaboration is a critical (and little talked about) component of the industry’s transition to an all SSD data center. Customers need to know how well SSD products they are considering (whether server-side Flash or an SSD array) synch with HDDs and how well their HDD and SSD solution providers can collaborate. I plan to write more about this topic in the near future as it relates to sticking all your storage eggs in one vendor’s basket. For Kaminario’s part, the K2 SPEAR architecture is well suited to play nicely with others in different environments.
Helping TestAmerica be successful is also particularly satisfying because of our long-standing relationship with Dell and because of how TestAmerica is using the technology. Congrats to all the engineers who built TALS and most importantly, congrats to TestAmerica. We help you protect your data while you help your clients protect America.