MicroAge Solutions

Solving a Catastrophic Storage Failure by Thinking Fast

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Solving a Catastrophic Storage Failure by Thinking Fast

Posted: Friday, September 23rd, 2011


Beating the Clock in Response Time

Reliable data storage is a key component in any IT environment. Without it, an organization is left vulnerable and at enormous risk for a catastrophic business failure. It is not an exaggeration to say that storage is a mission-critical aspect to any operation. Given this, when Barrett Lamothe, MicroAge Solutions Engineer, learned that a client in the manufacturing industry had experienced a catastrophic failure in the storage portion of a production cluster, the situation was urgent.

While the client had a warranty contract in place with the vendor that developed and installed the cluster, the company no longer produced the product. Barrett said, “The organization’s IT manager was frantic; I contacted the vendor on behalf of the client and was told they no longer could get the parts to repair the unit and the client would need to buy the newest model of SAN. Clearly, this was not acceptable, so I started reaching out to other MicroAge vendors.”

Given the fact that this was a production cluster and the unit was offline, the IT manager was desperate for a solution to bring the unit back up as soon as possible. Barrett knew that he had to find and deliver an alternate solution—fast. Getting them back online was critical for this company. So Barrett went to work and found a solution with longtime MicroAge vendor partner HP. The HP ProLiant DL380 G4 Packaged Cluster with MSA500 G2 offered an alternative “boxed” cluster, complete with servers and a storage unit packaged and ready to go.

After validating that the HP hardware was a direct replacement for the existing cluster, there was still the matter of getting the equipment to the client, and doing it as quickly as humanly possible. Barrett became a ‘man on a mission.’ He located the hardware in a distribution warehouse in the same state as the client and found a transportation company with a truck and driver available, which happened to be in the vicinity of the warehouse! He arranged for the driver to pick up the unit from the distributor and then drive it five hours to the client site. Leaving nothing to chance, Barrett instructed the courier driver to call in with regular updates on his progress so that the IT manager could keep his senior management informed. The unit arrived at the client’s location at 7:00 pm, which provided enough time for the IT manager to install the new equipment and be back online by 9:00 am the next day. “Barrett’s demonstrated technical expertise and numerous certifications make him an excellent extension of my team; by serving in many ways as a pre-sales engineer, he proactively solves challenges and delivers high-caliber solutions for clients,” comments MicroAge’s Wyatt Bowman, Chief Engineer and Director of Technical Sales & Professional Services.

This story would not be any different from a normal IT deployment but for the fact that Barrett was able to solve this client’s mission-critical calamity so quickly. “The client was ecstatic,” comments Barrett. “We were able to get them back online in 10 hours—24 hours sooner than any other IT provider could have! And that’s because MicroAge empowers its associates to go to extraordinary lengths for our clients. What I did in this case would have required a whole chain of approvals elsewhere—all while the clock continued to tick.”

Interested in seeing how we fast we can solve your organization’s IT problems? Contact Barrett or any of our IT Solutions Experts and let them go to work for you!