Bruce Power puts energy into capacity problem

Ontario’s largest independent electricity generator has overcome an IT hurdle that will allow it move ahead on a major storage management project.

Bruce Power, which in 2001 formed an agreement with Ontario Power Generation

to lease two nuclear generating stations for the next 18 years, has already completed an installation of Veritas’ NetBackup DataCenter and Volume Manager to help deal with the expected growth of its data as a private company. It is now preparing to install a Veritas Cluster Server to eliminate planned downtime and SANPoint control to simply the management of its storage area network (SAN).

Charles Cleland, Bruce Power’s IT manager, said difficulties involving host bus adapter (HBA) cards and an initial failure to “”zone”” set the project team back.

“”We’ve had a fairly significant technical problem that’s held up movement for about the last two months,”” he said. “”We’re over that now and we’ll be going again.””

Zoning refers to the isolation of parts of a SAN to limit their access to other parts. This is designed to limit the interaction of devices that might cause each other to fail, or allow outages to affect other parts of the network.

Bruce’s site includes two large generating stations separated by a central location that includes its data centre. Cleland said the software and hardware at these facilities were reaching their life’s end. A committee within the organization’s IT department concluded that some of the Bruce servers were at an average of 80 per cent capacity.

“”We had a number of staff fighting fires, moving data and users around to balance loads and so on,”” he said. “”The administrative overhead had us look to a storage area network.””

Mark Broadus the Veritas account manager for the storage project, said Bruce Power was more proactive than most companies in the same situation.

“”They knew they had some challenges ahead of them,”” he said. “”It was also an interesting situation, because they were a mature organization, but at the same time they were a brand new company.””

Veritas began helping the company plan a new backup and recovery system last May, and continued to help flesh out its storage needs.

Cleland said part of the IT department’s process of aligning itself with the business involved educating users about the amount of data they were storing.

“”There’s a feeling in the general public that just because they go buy a PC somewhere, they get 40GB instead of the 10GB they had before.”” he said. “”When you look at storage space and the cost of that, you have to consider the power, the air conditioning and the real estate and all the other things that go with it.””

Broadus said it can be difficult for enterprises to forecast their long-term storage demands.

“”They know it’s going to gr

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