Freeman ensures the                                        Customer profileshow will go on with DellCompellent Storage Cen...
Planning and flexibility are essential for competitiveness in                                 the events services industry...
its support for both Linux and Windows       Thin provisioning lowers storageplatforms, the Dell Compellent SAN           ...
“We can carry over software licenses                        document its current and future needs through upgrades and rep...
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The Show Will Go On with Dell Compellent Storage Center: Freeman Case Study


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Freeman event services struggled with a multivendor storage infrastructure, but turned to Dell Compellent Storage Center with Dell Fluid Data technology to reduce its storage capacity, gain greater visibility and implement disaster recovery.

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The Show Will Go On with Dell Compellent Storage Center: Freeman Case Study

  1. 1. Freeman ensures the Customer profileshow will go on with DellCompellent Storage Center Company Freeman Industry Advertising and Marketing Country United States Employees 32,900 (full and part-time) Web site Challenge With a multivendor storage infrastructure, IT staff at Freeman struggled with 80TB of unwieldy data storage, with little visibility into usage or upcoming requirements, making effective storage management and cost containment nearly impossible. Yet, support for business growth was imperative, as was the implementation of a dependable disaster recovery solution. Solution Freeman deployed the Dell™ Compellent Storage Center with Dell Fluid Data™ technology to reduce its current storage capacity requirements, gain greater visibility into changes in storage demands and implement seamless disaster recovery. Benefits • 90% reduction in legal document“Data fragmentation guarantees a higher cost search time, saving on compliance costs structure and inhibits growth. The Dell Fluid • 62% decrease in storage volume through consolidation—from Data architecture saves money in the short approximately 80TB to 30TB term and positions the company to take • 40% lower disk storage costs on new business in the long run.” Application areas • Disaster RecoveryMartin Vogt, Infrastructure Engineering Manager, Freeman • Intelligent Data Management • Virtualization
  2. 2. Planning and flexibility are essential for competitiveness in the events services industry—and these characteristics have helped Freeman earn its leading position in this market. The $1.2 billion company services more than 54 percent of the 200 largest trade shows in the United States and produces more than 13,000 events and expositions every year. Expanding the company’s market reach Vogt also wanted to minimize the requires clockwork tactical precision. chance of costly business disruption by “Rather than Freeman’s more than 32,000 employees setting up a disaster recovery center, so are dispersed throughout the United that local problems would not interrupt spending 25 or States in more than 40 locations, and the rest of the business and important more hours every these members of the team need reliable data could be recovered quickly. information access to perform their tasks month to provision as efficiently and cost-effectively as 62% fewer terabytes, 90% faster access possible. But the rapid data growth that Freeman found a way to address all space and resolve accompanied these tasks threatened of these issues by deploying a Dell storage issues, we to reduce efficiency and increase Compellent Storage Center SAN. With operational costs. now spend only “We needed a way to rein in over 80TB a couple of hours of unwieldy data storage,” says Martin Technology at work with the new Dell Vogt, the company’s infrastructure Services engineering manager. “Otherwise we Dell™ Compellent Copilot Compellent SAN. would have faced the prospect of spotty Support information access—and increased risk That has translated of major operational disruption should Hardware into a saving of a natural disaster occur.” Dell Compellent Storage Center $80,000 in IT To complicate matters, the company’s with Dell Fluid Data™ technology multivendor storage infrastructure administration was expensive to maintain and scale. Software Dell Compellent Data Instant costs.” The Freeman IT department had little Replay visibility into data storage usage or upcoming storage requirements. Dell Compellent Data Martin Vogt, This lack of insight made it difficult for Progression Infrastructure Engineering Vogt and his team to pinpoint ways Manager, Freeman Dell Compellent Dynamic to streamline data storage activities, Capacity such as consolidating and centralizing pockets of data—or eliminating Linux® redundancy in equipment, power Microsoft® Exchange and cooling. Microsoft Hyper-V® “We knew we had to find a way to Microsoft SQL Server® expand our infrastructure to support Microsoft® Windows® continued growth,” says Vogt. “But our hodgepodge of IBM, HP and Gateway Oracle® Database solutions made it difficult to sort through VMware® vSphere™ the specific data storage requirements throughout the business.”2
  3. 3. its support for both Linux and Windows Thin provisioning lowers storageplatforms, the Dell Compellent SAN costs 40%enabled Vogt to support the company’s In addition to minimizing staff time andentire range of servers, while reducing effort, Freeman has reduced its diskstorage capacity requirements by storage costs by 40 percent by using62 percent. “Where we once needed the thin provisioning capabilities of Dell80TB of allocated storage, we now Compellent Dynamic Capacity software.need only 30TB,” he says. Rather than hooking each device to dedicated storage, Freeman usesAt the front end of the business, Dynamic Capacity to create pools ofFreeman employees now have faster storage that many devices can share.access to the information they need.For example, the time it takes members Seamlessly integrating these storageof the legal team to find documentation pools with the company’s VMware “The disasterhas dropped 90 percent, from an and Hyper-V virtualization platforms,average of 20 minutes to about two Dynamic Capacity finds the most recovery projectminutes. The result has been a dramatic efficient way to allocate physical disk was so non-reduction in compliance and other space among virtual machines (VMs).legal costs. The ability to quickly provision VMs disruptive; no one and create VM-ready volumes, as wellAutomated tiering offers high as the fine-tuning of data placement outside of ourperformance and high capacity for VMs, dramatically reduces both IT departmentTo achieve these results, Freeman is administration costs and the totaltaking advantage of automated data amount of storage the company needs. knew that we hadtiering with Dell Compellent DataProgression software, which automatically “Rather than spending 25 or more hours overhauled ourmanages and migrates data within a every month to provision space and IT infrastructure.multi-tiered storage infrastructure, resolve storage issues, we now spendusing policy-based procedures. only a couple of hours every month And thanks to on these matters with the new DellWhile all data is stored initially on the Compellent SAN,” explains Vogt. “That Dell Compellent’shighest tier, on high-performance drives, has translated into a savings of $80,000 help, we beatData Progression retains on that tier only in IT administration costs.”the data that is frequently accessed or our deadline.”designated for high availability. The rest Scalability decreases upgrade costsmigrates to lower tiers that utilize less The virtualization efforts that the Dell Martin Vogt,expensive, high-capacity storage. Compellent SAN supports have also Infrastructure Engineering given Freeman newfound storage Manager, Freeman“Our IT infrastructure depends on scalability, as the company can now having multiple storage networking add storage as needed to support options,” Vogt says. “No other major new growth. solution could support our need for both high-performance and lower And because virtual servers and VMs cost, high-capacity drives.” can continue to operate on the software the company already owns, supportDell Compellent Data Instant Replay costs are dramatically lower. Thesoftware creates frequent snapshots, or company needs to upgrade softwareReplays, that help to back up changing only when new features or capabilitiesdata quickly, while still permitting high are truly required, saving money bothwrite and read performance. in administration costs and software license fees.3
  4. 4. “We can carry over software licenses document its current and future needs through upgrades and replace only with a few quick glances at dashboards what we need, when we need it, which and reports. Liberated from days of is a big savings,” says Vogt. “The result tedious research and analysis, lower- is a long-term solution that can grow level staff can now monitor storage alongside the business—not a three-to- requirements and generate reports, five-year stopgap.” while senior staff concentrates on more complex projects.Non-disruptive disaster recovery helpscustomer retention Additionally, hands-free managementThe need to ensure uninterrupted access features allow much of the reporting toto applications and data mandates a be handled with no human interventionreliable disaster recovery system for whatsoever thanks to policy-basedany company intent on retaining its rules. The rules specify which reportscustomers and its industry leadership are generated, when, and under whatposition. Freeman is no exception. conditions. These new insights are helping Freeman improve capacityThe challenge was to implement disaster planning and response to changingrecovery in a cost-effective and non- usage patterns. More intelligenceintrusive way. Fortunately, the scalability about storage requirements also helpsof the Dell Fluid Data architecture—and the Freeman IT team to better timesupport from specialists from Dell purchases for the best storage andCompellent Copilot Support—helped systems prices.Vogt and his team complete a disasterrecovery solution based on redundant Today, Freeman’s growth is no longerDell Compellent Storage Center SANs in constrained by inefficient storagejust 90 days. networks, and the IT costs associated with storage have been dramatically“The disaster recovery project was cut, saving on both capital expenditures so non-disruptive, no one outside of and labor. Just as important, the our IT department knew that we had company can match its expansion into overhauled our IT infrastructure,” says new projects and new markets with Vogt. “Every time an obstacle arose, the just the right amount of SAN growth Dell Compellent team had an answer— to keep pace with business growth. and thanks to Dell Compellent’s help, we beat our deadline.” “Data fragmentation guarantees a higher cost structure, and unless a companySimplified management lets IT focus on solves this problem, it can seriouslythe big picture inhibit long-term growth,” says Vogt.In contrast to its previous mixed storage “The Dell Fluid Data architecture savesenvironment, Dell Compellent Storage money in the short term and positionsCenter gives Freeman a single point- the company to take on new businessand-click interface for its entire storage in the long run.”infrastructure. IT staff can determine andView all Dell case studies at Availability and terms of Dell Services vary by region. For more information, visit © December 2011. Microsoft, Hyper-V, SQL Server and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft4 Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. This case study is for informational purposes only. Dell makes no warranties - express or implied - in this case study. Reference number 10009985