A PERPETUAL EDGE ON GROWTH

How CSI is enabling a leading UK construction service company to manage the massive data growth that comes with business expansion.

Our client: provides specialist design and build capabilities for civil engineering, public and private housebuilding and land development. Major projects include national transport infrastructure, government buildings, and residential estates.

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Context

Every week, the UK construction sector announces over 1,300 new construction projects with build values over £100K. With construction projects inevitably generating enormous and complex volumes of information, in an industry where a major new contract can arrive at any time, our client must be able to manage its changing data storage needs with agility and speed.

Goal

Project design and control are both critically dependent on access to accurate and timely information, as well as the ability to use this information effectively. Our client required an affordable and high-performance storage capacity that is available at all times.

Challenge

The ongoing challenge for our client wasn’t just how to store its growing data volumes. It was how to do so without compromising on performance or straining already tight budgets.

A successful design had to balance high-speed access and cost-efficient long-term storage. At the same time, manual migration of data between different types of storage would place an impossible burden on the IT team. Storage efficiency was also required to reduce the overall volume and complexity of data.

BY USING A TWO-SITE DATA CENTRE DESIGN, WITH NETAPP TECHNOLOGY TO COMPLEMENT APPLICATION-LEVEL RESILIENCY, OUR CLIENT NOW HAS A COMPREHENSIVE STORAGE AND PROTECTION PLATFORM - AS WELL AS THE MOST EFFICIENT USE OF CAPACITY IN THE SMALLEST FOOTPRINT.

John Baylis, Senior Technical Architect, CSI

Solution

CSI implemented NetApp AFF A220, designed for cost-effective performance, resiliency and enterprise features as well StorageGRID object storage accessed via tiering and S3 to provide a cost-effective capacity tier.

The solution leverages the power of the ONTAP Data Fabric to provide access to storage, presenting data via multi-protocol access and performing data protection actions, such as snapshots and replication. ONTAP also manages where the data is stored – particularly in this solution, where multiple tiers exist.

Depending on the type of data, it is stored either:

  • On all-flash volumes permanently
  • On all-flash volumes, but tiered to object storage based on policy
  • Directly on the object storage

Outcomes

The redesign of the client’s storage environment boosted capacity, availability, and performance.

CSI and NetApp provided a highly resilient storage environment across multiple data centres.

ONTAP enabled rule-based tiering (e.g. if data isn’t accessed for 30 days it is moved from flash to object storage – the next time the data is accessed again, it is promoted to flash again.)

Storage efficiency functions such as de-duplication and compression provide a 3:1 data reduction guarantee. In addition, intelligent tiering management reduced the need for costly all-flash storage in return for an increase in affordable StorageGRID – without an impact on performance.

1/8

One in every eight hours of a working day in the construction industry is spent looking for project data through reams of information

1million

Large construction projects can generate over a million documents, emails and workflows - with +90% of all construction data that is captured going unused

62%

Almost two-thirds of UK construction companies who have completed a digital transformation project noted reduced operational costs