Published on 12-Mar-2012
"IBM SAN Volume Controller allows us to manage our storage environment and do significant work in the storage space without interrupting or impacting our customers." - David Levine, Vice President of Technology Infrastructure and End User Services, Ricoh Americas Corporation
Ricoh Americas Corporation
IGF, Solutions for Smart Business, Cloud & Service Management, Master Data Management, Virtualization - Storage
Ricoh Americas Corporation, headquartered in West Caldwell, New Jersey, is a subsidiary of Ricoh Company, Ltd., a 75-year-old leading provider of advanced office technology and innovative document imaging products, services and software. Ricoh’s fully integrated hardware and customizable services and software help businesses share information efficiently and effectively by enabling them to control the input, management and output of documents. Ricoh Americas Corporation, directly or through its network of authorized dealers, markets and distributes products in North, Central and South America.
Ricoh partnered with IBM to deploy IBM storage solutions, including IBM System Storage® SAN Volume Controller, in their infrastructure to simplify storage management and increase efficiency.
Ricoh deployed IBM System Storage® SAN Volume Controller, IBM System Storage DS8000® series, IBM XIV® Storage System, IBM Tivoli® Storage Productivity Center, IBM Tivoli Storage FlashCopy® Manager and IBM Global Mirror.
The IBM solution provides a flexible, high-performance, 85 percent virtualized storage platform, enables seamless migration of huge amounts of data with minimal end-user disruption, lowers storage management and energy costs significantly through consolidation and easily manages backups and disaster recovery with IBM storage applications.
Ricoh Americas Corporation, headquartered in West Caldwell, New Jersey, is a subsidiary of Ricoh Company, Ltd., a 75-year-old leading provider of advanced office technology and innovative document imaging products, services and software.
Ricoh’s fully integrated hardware and customizable services and software help businesses share information efficiently and effectively by enabling them to control the input, management and output of documents. Ricoh Americas Corporation, directly or through its network of authorized dealers, markets and distributes products in North, Central and South America.
Explosive growth creates host of challenges
Over time, Ricoh’s IT department saw its data storage needed growing by 20 percent annually due to expanding customer data archiving requirements and data center consolidation. And like many other companies dealing with the complexity of a globally-distributed environment, the company needed to cost-effectively and efficiently integrate and upgrade their storage environment.
“As we continue to see data growth year over year, it provides challenges for us relative to backing up the environment in the timeframe we need,” says David Levine, Vice President of Technology Infrastructure and End User Services for Ricoh. “It also increases the strain on our resources by way of equipment and recovery time.”
Marty Everett, Ricoh’s Director of Architecture and Solutions Design, explains, “The amount of storage we have and the number of customers we serve have all grown in size. The scope of our applications has widened and varied. The amount of responsibility that we have for things corporate-wide and even internationally has expanded over time.” In fact, Everett says the amount of storage Ricoh manages has jumped from 500 terabytes to almost two petabytes of physical storage, plus 1.2 petabytes of virtual storage.
This increase in storage was impacting the business in many ways, including costs related to storage management that ranged from staffing to addressing tape backup requirements. “It's really critical that we keep the infrastructure up and running, efficiently and effectively, so that it is available to our end users,” says Levine. He adds that this goal must be accomplished without negatively impacting end users in other ways.
Addressing storage needs with IBM solutions
Storage virtualization solutions from IBM enabled Ricoh to help address their challenges, meet storage goals and stay within budget. Ricoh leveraged IBM’s virtual tape technology as well as virtual storage technology in their IT environment—and found the two complemented each other very well.
Ricoh implemented IBM XIV® Storage System, IBM System Storage® TS7650G ProtecTIER® Deduplication Gateway and IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller with very little downtime or impact to their user base. Their storage environment is now 85 percent virtualized.
“Storage virtualization has been key to providing efficient and cost-effective storage solutions for our data center,” says Everett. “We have maintained a lower price point and effectively managed the explosive storage environment within our data center.”
“IBM SAN Volume Controller allows us to manage our storage environment and do significant work in the storage space without interrupting or impacting our customers,” says Levine. It also enables Ricoh to seamlessly migrate storage as necessary. “If we see performance issues, we can move disk on the fly during the day, during production hours, without our end users even being aware that their applications are migrating,” explains Levine. This also allows them to perform clean refreshes by moving data between subsystems. The company has also implemented multi-tiering in their disk environment. IBM System Storage Easy Tier® enables them to move applications and storage areas to the appropriate tiering levels with no impact to end users.
Winning the storage game with virtualization
According to Levine, virtualizing Ricoh’s storage environment has been a game changer for the company. They’ve drastically lowered storage costs by consolidating their hosts, enabling them to manage more storage with less staff. And as for their sustainability and energy concerns, because Ricoh now has fewer storage devices, they ultimately consume less power.
The IBM solution also minimizes downtime. “We no longer need large outages to move data or perform refreshes,” adds Levine.
The company’s storage infrastructure includes a variety of other IBM solutions, including an IBM XIV Storage System and an IBM System Storage DS8000® series. Levine says this variety enables them to fit the right kind of disk profile with the right kind of application. The IBM SAN Volume Controller sits on top of all disk arrays, which makes a large number of storage units look like a single storage infrastructure.
Everett explains, “This single user interface allows us to view the performance and interaction of the systems with the storage, so we can proactively recognize problems before they occur and move storage around, if necessary. It enables us to recognize performance peaks and properly provision storage so that peaks are no longer an issue.”
Navigating future growth—with IBM
“Having streamlined tools and solutions really enables us to manage the disk systems and subsystems to optimize storage capacity and performance—it really helps us control growth,” says Levine. “By having efficient storage systems and solutions, we can provide the best performance to our customers and end users. “
On the software side, Ricoh’s use of IBM solutions includes the IBM Tivoli® Storage Productivity Center software suite to help manage the environment, IBM Tivoli Storage FlashCopy® Manager to provide fast application-aware backups and restores using advanced snapshot technologies, and IBM Global Mirror to make test copies in development environments.
“We are a big IBM shop here at Ricoh,” says Levine. “We truly view IBM as a partner—and IBM has been an outstanding partner for us over the years.”
- IBM System Storage® DS8000® series
- IBM System Storage TS7650G ProtecTIER® Deduplication Gateway
- IBM XIV® Storage System
- IBM System Storage Easy Tier®
- IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller
- IBM Global Mirror
- IBM Tivoli® Storage Productivity Center
- IBM Tivoli Storage FlashCopy® Manager
For more information
For more information about Ricoh Americas Corporation, visit: www.ricoh-usa.com
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Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
XIV Storage System, System Storage SAN Volume Controller, Global Mirror, Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager, Tivoli Storage Productivity Center Standard Edition
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, New York 10589 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America March 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, DS8000, Easy Tier, FlashCopy,ProtecTIER, System Storage, Tivoli, and XIV are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. Actual available storage capacity may be reported for both uncompressed and compressed data and will vary and may be less than stated.