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No Going Without Veritas Volume Manager(SF)

Created: 04 Jun 2009 • Updated: 09 Jun 2009
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Srini_Ris's picture
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I started my career way back in 1997, with SCO Unix environment supporting again the banking IT application, like Foxpro, Novell Lan and other standalone applications which were important for the banking environment. I’m just trying to share the experience that I had all these years and how the technology has got evolved time to time.

With theoretical knowledge on what is Unix as a operating system got into my first job. I got through the interview by saying ls, grep, cat, cp, if loop , lp and I was through for the job.

The unix world was the first exposure along with the windows environment and its applications mostly for banking. Those days there was no difference between corporate banking and retail banking but the fact was that only private bank is coming into picture giving a fight for the National bank’s or PSU banks.

I have little memory as to we had the volume manager into picture or not. But I still remember that we had to migrate from the SCO Unix to Solaris environment with banking application unable to cater the load of the growing environment.

If my memory goes well with me with age catching up I think in the early 2000 or late 1999 we had the Sun Hardware E450 was introduced and we had the migration done at the banking application level.

Not really sure as to how the volume manager got introduced, but the application receding on the OS was no longer a favorable solution with lots of risk involved into it. The data disk corruption or going bad (with soft / hard error) was really contemplating situation for the customer end and the data safe guard was one of the important aspect or the need for that time. As the computer technology was getting explored and the organizations were turning up to the technology and hence it was very essential to protect the records of the customer protected or produced whenever demanded by the retail / corporate customer whenever needed. I was very lucky to grow myself in the career with a emerging technology savvy banking environment, which remains long lasting memory in mine.

The Sun Enterprise 450 supported up to four 250Mhz, 300Mhz, 400Mhz or 480Mhz UltraSPARC II processors with 1Mbyte, 2Mbyte, 4Mbytes and 8Mbytes of Cache respectively. Not really sure has to what was the hardware sizing we had gone, but it was surely fully blown up version of the server. Had a memory up to 4GB and accommodated up to 20 internal Ultra-SCSI hot-swappable disk drives using software based RAID levels 0, 1 and 5.
• Hardware was based RAID (with 64Mb Cache) can be implemented for up to 16 internal disk drives and up to 18 external 6-disk multipacks.
• The system came with standard with 10/100Base-T Ethernet, floppy drive and internal CD-Rom. There are ten available PCI slots.

With the growing banking application database size we had to opt for the disk with higher sizes and the need was clarion box an external storage device was required to managing the to the computing and application, with higher storage and performance of the system to enable the centralized banking system.

I think this time around we had the “Veritas Volume Manager” introduced and bundled with the Sun Mircosystem sales and solutions. Now I know they are having Sun10k, Sun12.5 K , Hitachi storage subsystem, clariion cx series, the series of hardware that got introduced to keep it up with the application need and running.

Veritas Volume Manager a product from Veritas that time now Symantec, which is used for managing the disk storage system.

Issues with the stand alone disk systems were

• Limitation of the disk storage system with standard 16GB, 32GB and 72GB disk system
• Limited useable space post the raid configuration
• Had to configure Raid 5 so that the useable space was high compared to raid0 or raid1 but had to compromise with the performance
• Slow Performance
• Had to reserved disks for the operating system in raid 0 ( Mirror Option)
• High Point of failure due to the limited disk available
• High Recovery time in case of any disk failures and also further impacting the performance of the system

There are lots of advantages / benefits that as an organization achieved after having the Veritas Volume Manager implemented which actually pleased the IT leaders in time to come.

• Volume manager over came the limitation of the physical disk limitation, had the option of grouping the disks spanning multiple disks
• Raid configuration providing the HA for the data stored
• Online disk configuration without interrupting the production environment

The list would go on... Now it’s not only the clarion box or just bunch of disks, but the Vertias volume manager is used in enterprise storage system. I know Hitachi and EMC as a product and worked with the implementation of both during my lengthening experience
Post the disk system configuration at the hardware level, on top of that the Veritas Volume manager is configured thus ensuring that both at the hardware level raid configuration is done a the storage system level and the disks are grouped as per the business need

With the banking application going from the standalone application file, with the database size of 16GB and now it has migrated to the database level both on Sybase and oracle with the database size close to 40TB.

Now I know it is difficult even thinking going without having “Veritas Volume Manager” so integral part of computing world.

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