16Gb Fibre Channel Ensures Rackspace Has Their Customers Covered

Founded in San Antonio in 1998, Rackspace’s operations have now expanded to include nine data centers across four continents with thousands of customers. These customers turn to Rackspace to deliver the best-fit infrastructure for their individual IT needs. Being an industry leader in enterprise-class hybrid cloud infrastructures, they sought to increase the capability, efficiency and reliability of their data centers and turned to the purpose-built storage solution— Fibre Channel. In doing so, they were in good company, joining industry leading enterprises such as AOL, Symantec and Legend3D, who also turned to Fibre Channel as their trusted storage foundation.

The Need for a Reliable, Scalable and Efficient Infrastructure

Provisioning, decommissioning and re-provisioning servers for various client projects keeps the Rackspace infrastructure in a perpetual state of flux, a flux that creates steep demands on a storage area network (SAN). What Rackspace needed was a simple, efficient design for each data center that allowed them to be easily scalable to meet the rigors of their provisioning demands, as well as the reliability that their customers expect.

Fibre Channel (FC) was chosen due to its ability to maximize port utilization, offer the greatest flexibility and ease deployment constraints that would help ensure Rackspace customers received the "Fanatical Support" the company has become known for.

“For Rackspace, density and the ability to use all of our capacity are critical to our financial performance. Fibre Channel allows us higher densities, the ability to leverage the infrastructures across our customer base and more readily monetize our capital investments.” Said Sean Widige, CTO, Global Enterprise Solutions, Rackspace.

Business Results

Due to business processes or regulatory practices, some Rackspace customers require dedicated SAN environments. Others can run their workloads on a public cloud, private cloud, dedicated servers or a combination of platforms; Fibre Channel ensures performance on all.

“Storage is one of our most critical components of our solution offerings,” said Sean Widige. “We rely on Fibre Channel because it enables us to quickly scale and meet our customers’ increasing demands. It also allows the customer freedom to utilize any of our service platforms while ensuring integrity of their data.”

The following were among the advantages Rackspace realized by deploying Fibre Channel:

• Fabric-based protocol built for enterprise storage

• Fast, simple and elastic networks for simplified scaling and evolution

• A denser storage environment with 33 percent reduction in footprint

• Maximize use of capital resources by increasing utilization and efficiency

A Closing Note on Fibre Channel

In considering the benefits above, one begins to understand why Rackspace, along with 90 percent of Fortune 1000 data centers, trust Fibre Channel with their storage needs. These enterprises realize that data connectivity is more than just speed, but also about scalability, data integrity, operational simplicity, mission-critical performance, virtualization and reliability. Take a few minutes to browse the wealth of resources regarding the benefits of Fibre Channel available on the recently launched Knowledge Vault, hosted by the Fibre Channel Industry Association.

From CIO: 8 Free Online Courses to Grow Your Tech Skills