NetApp and Microsoft Virtualisation Solutions Help Customs and Freight Broker Improve IT Efficiency and Meet Business Growth

A & A Defers Storage Purchases for Two Years, Improves Manageability of Physical and Virtual Server Environment

LONDON, UK. - May 7, 2009 - NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) and Microsoft Corp. today announced that A & A Contract Customs Brokers Ltd., a fast-growing customs and freight broker, has achieved dramatic IT efficiency gains by using Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V technology and Microsoft System Center with NetApp® storage solutions.

A & A provides customs and freight forwarding expertise to a large base of international customers. By 2012, the company expects to grow at a rate of 20 percent per year by further expanding its services and opening an additional five branch offices. As A & A's business continues to grow, so does its information technology environment and the need for more storage and servers. The acquisition of more servers and storage has led to increased IT costs and server and storage sprawl in the company's data center. As a result, A & A needed to transform its IT infrastructure to meet its planned growth and business objectives.

"Our antiquated direct-attached storage system was not meeting our growth and management challenges," said Dan Morris, systems engineer at A & A. "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 virtualisation alleviated part of our problem, we still experienced disk capacity issues that constrained our virtualised environment."

A & A needed a more scalable server and storage architecture that would unlock the full potential of its virtualisation environment. Therefore, the company consolidated its server and storage infrastructure based on an end-to-end virtualisation solution with Microsoft Corp. and NetApp.

A & A consolidated multiple applications and significantly 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 percent 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
  • Improve overall system availability using the built-in clustering capabilities of Windows Server 2008 to automate the failover of servers

Combined with NetApp storage efficiency technologies such as deduplication and RAID-DP®, A & A was able to use less storage and better protect its valuable data to achieve the following benefits:

  • Reclaimed 70 percent of its storage capacity for Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V technology and backup data from System Center Data Protection Manager 2007
  • Deferred the purchase of additional storage for up to 24 months by freeing more than 25 percent of primary storage for reuse
  • Quadrupled retention times for disk-based backup data from one week to one month to significantly bolster data protection and recovery efforts

"It didn't take long for Microsoft and NetApp to win me over," continued Morris. "The Microsoft virtualisation and systems management solution provided greater value operationally and reduced capital costs, while NetApp gave us the most storage at the best value. I've had such a great experience that I've begun recommending NetApp to other IT groups exploring server virtualisation with Microsoft. I always tell people I see no reason why anyone would choose anything else but Microsoft and NetApp solutions for their IT infrastructure needs."

"NetApp and Microsoft are delivering end-to-end virtualisation solutions for IT consolidation, site recovery, and remote offices," said Sane Adam, senior director of Virtualisation Strategy and Management at Microsoft. "NetApp provides one of the best storage platforms to deliver integrated solutions in conjunction with Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V technology and Microsoft System Center. Together we're giving our customers innovative ways to help reduce costs, and improve availability and efficiency."

Customers such as A & A rely on NetApp's complete set of storage efficiency technologies that are inherent in its Data ONTAP® operating system, including deduplication, thin provisioning, RAID-DP, and Snapshot™ technology, to improve storage efficiency and dramatically simplify data management of their virtual server environments. Customers that deploy NetApp with Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V technology can enhance protection of their data assets, buy less storage, and reduce their overall power, space, and cooling costs in their data centers.

"A & A is an excellent example of how our customers are reducing their storage requirements by 50-70 percent using our storage efficiency technologies," said John Rollason, Product Marketing Manager at NetApp. "We understand the challenges our customers are facing to do more with less and reduce costs and unplanned downtime. Microsoft's server virtualisation platform gives customers a powerful solution to consolidate their IT infrastructure. Together, we're helping customers maximise the value of their storage and servers in their virtualised environments. NetApp will even guarantee that customers will use less storage as part of our Virtualisation Guarantee* Program."

NetApp's Virtualisation Guarantee Program enables customers to take advantage of NetApp's guarantee that they will use 50 percent less storage in their virtual environments with NetApp storage compared to traditional storage arrays. Alternatively, for customers that already own other select storage systems, NetApp will reduce redundant copies of their primary data by at least 35 percent with NetApp V-Series. For more information, visit http://www.netapp.com/uk/solutions/infrastructure/virtualization/guarantee-uk.html.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

About NetApp
NetApp creates innovative storage and data management solutions that accelerate business breakthroughs and deliver outstanding cost efficiency. Discover our passion for helping companies around the world go further, faster at http://www.netapp.com/uk/.

*This guarantee and related Program are limited to the terms set forth in http://www.netapp.com/uk/solutions/infrastructure/virtualization/guarantee-uk.html applicable only to prospective orders placed after the Program effective date and are dependent upon your compliance with the terms and conditions set forth in this document and any of the instruction sets and specifications set forth in the referenced documents. NetApp's sole and exclusive liability and your sole and exclusive remedy associated with the terms of this guarantee and related Program is the provision by NetApp of the additional storage capacity as set forth in this guarantee and related Program.

NetApp, the NetApp logo, Go further, faster, Data ONTAP, RAID-DP, and Snapshot are trademarks or registered trademarks of NetApp, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other brands or products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and should be treated as such.

Press Contact:
Jessica Power
Champion Communications
+44 (0) 207 655 4060
netapp@championcomms.com