NetApp Upgrades Bluestone Group to Mission-Critical Data Management Platform, taking Zero Downtime and Simplifying Storage Process

AUSTRALIA, Sydney - 6 June, 2007 Network Appliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP), a leader in advanced network storage solutions, has helped Bluestone Group, one of Australasia's fastest-growing specialist lenders, to upgrade from a mid-range data storage cluster to an enterprise-level, mission-critical data-management platform which provides continuous data protection. During the upgrade, Bluestone experienced virtually no network downtime, made possible by the fact NetApp solutions are all based on the same architecture.

Other business benefits Bluestone gained as a result of the upgrade include:
  • All applications, including database and email can now be run across one storage platform, simplifying management and reducing total hardware footprint.
  • All data is protected and can be restored immediately if required, reducing time commitment and improving service levels.
  • All tape-based processes have been eliminated with disk-based cross-system backup and recovery, helping improve compliance systems and reducing cost.

Prior to 2007, Bluestone Group, an existing NetApp customer, was managing and storing data, based on a NetApp FAS270 system, a midrange, entry-level Fibre Channel SAN (http://www.netapp.com/solutions/fcsan.html) solution. Due to fast business growth and several key applications being developed and moved in-house, Bluestone needed to upgrade to an enterprise data-management solution that offered constant data protection. As a result, NetApp worked with Bluestone to install a FAS3040 solution, a high-performance, scalable storage system suitable for SAN and NAS requirements, offering 24/7 availability.

Pierre de Villecourt, Chief Information Officer for Bluestone Group, said, "Bluestone is growing rapidly. As a result, our data has grown at a rate of over 200 percent over the past year. Because the majority of our information is confidential, including personal data on our customers, it is critical that this information is extremely well protected, from a privacy, legal and compliance perspective. As such, we needed a solution that assured our employees, brokers and agents instant access to our data, while also providing a watertight data storage facility. The NetApp solution gives us all of these benefits, which have resulted in a simpler storage environment that is easier to manage and costs us less in the long term."

One of the key reasons Bluestone needed to upgrade its data storage capabilities was the fact that the IT team was about to implement an internally developed enterprise-wide software application called "BOSS" to manage the company's mission-critical lending application.

When NetApp was approached to provide a high-availability solution, the Bluestone team was already testing BOSS on its mid-range FAS270 system.

De Villecourt said, "Our business was at the point where we needed to upgrade our data management system, even before we started testing BOSS. Adding BOSS to our system caused a very heavy data load, because we had no other choice but to run it in conjunction with our existing applications. This meant that upgrading to the FAS3040 needed to be seamless, with no interruption to our business. Based on our previous relationship with NetApp, we had a high level of trust and confidence that the team could deliver on this key requirement - something NetApp did with great success."

Peter O'Connor, Managing Director of NetApp in Australia and New Zealand, said, "Bluestone, with their focus as a specialist loan provider, is the perfect example of a customer who has made the most of one of the key benefits of NetApp data management solutions. Because our architecture is the same across our entire product range, customers can focus on and grow their business without having to worry about implementing an entirely new storage platform. This means that businesses can continue to operate - as Bluestone experienced - with virtually no downtime during the upgrade process, providing numerous business benefits."

The solution

Bluestone has one FAS3040 solution at its primary site and a second unit at its disaster recovery site, as well as various data management applications, including:
  • SnapManager for Exchange
  • SnapManager for SQL
  • SnapVault
  • Operations Manager
  • Protection Manager
  • SnapDrive
  • SnapMirror

About Bluestone
The Bluestone Group has been operating since 2000 and have provided home loans to thousands of customers throughout Australasia worth over $2 billion. As part of the Money Magazine's 2007 'Best of Best' Awards (http://www.bluestone.com.au/page.aspx?id=372) Bluestone Group has been awarded SILVER for the "Best Reverse Mortgage (Non-bank)' and BRONZE for the "Cheapest Loan with Credit Impairment". The Bluestone Group operates under the names Bluestone Mortgages in Australia and New Zealand and Bluestone Equity Release in Australia.

About Network Appliance
Network Appliance is a world leader in unified storage solutions for today's data-intensive enterprise. Since its inception in 1992, Network Appliance has delivered technology, product, and partner firsts that simplify data management. Information about Network Appliance™ solutions and services is available at www-au.netapp.com.

Press Contacts:
Mark Heers
Director Marketing and Alliance
Network Appliance
Tel: +61 2 9979 5623
mheers@netapp.com

Rachel York
Max Australia
Tel: +61 2 9954 3492
Rachel.york@maxaustralia.com.au