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Cybernetics Review

City of Montebello, CA

"Cybernetics' SAN solution has exceeded my expectations with its snapshot capabilities, how easy it was to integrate with my network, and more importantly, its ease of use."

Once an agricultural community, the historic City of Montebello changed dramatically with the discovery of oil in 1917. Now this city of 65,000 residents within Los Angeles County is a thriving industrial center. Strategically situated at a hub in the freeway system, Montebello is just 15 minutes from downtown Los Angeles and within driving distance of three major airports, the largest deepwater port in the western United States, and the largest concentration of railroad and freight yards outside of Chicago.

David Tsuen manages backup, data security, and disaster recovery for the city.

With over 20 physical servers to support, the City of Montebello's data center was consuming an unacceptable amount of power at a time when "green computing" was becoming the ideal; and heat from the servers was overwhelming the air conditioning system. Tsuen wanted to consolidate those servers into as few new units as possible to solve the power and overheating problems at once, while leveraging resources by moving to a fully virtualized data center with VMware. "Well, you can't create a virtual infrastructure without a virtual storage solution," Tsuen says, and Cybernetics "offered great flexibility."

Tsuen purchased his first Cybernetics SAN solution in 2006 to support the city's financial system, and he was so favorably impressed with its ease of use, reliability, and performance that Cybernetics soon became the standard for the MIS Division. Within a year, a second unit was added to support the city's 911 system, a third was added to support the SQL Server and the e-mail archiving system, and two additional R-Series were added to support the Exchange Server as well the city's voicemail machines. "We had another iSCSI solution that was implemented prior to Cybernetics. In comparison, the Cybernetics SAN was much easier to implement and much easier to manage."

Tsuen also appreciated the way Cybernetics' SAN solution integrated seamlessly with existing hardware and software. Based on iSCSI technology, the Cybernetics SAN supports high-speed, block level transfers and connects via IP address to any standard Ethernet network. It is operating system independent and 100% compatible with Windows, Linux, Unix, and more - as well as popular applications like Exchange and SQL and any software package designed to support SCSI devices. "It's always scary to tackle new technology," Tsuen says, "but Cybernetics made me feel at ease throughout the process."

"Set up and installation was very easy; actually it was plug and play."

Cybernetics takes technical support seriously, and many customers take advantage the ability to schedule a pre-installation phone call with an in-house technical support engineer who knows the product and the customer's configuration front to back. And support doesn't end with installation. Cybernetics is unique in its commitment to providing free telephone technical support for the life of the product, and the company also offers a variety of maintenance programs through its Precision Support Partnership. Tsuen experienced that commitment first-hand. "What was really cool is that they configured a new box at their location and shipped it to me overnight. All I had to do when I got it was plug the hard drives in. Now that is tech support!"

Tsuen also appreciates iSAN's exceptional performance and manageability. "Its low cost iSCSI technology allowed us to achieve connection speeds comparable to traditional fibre channel when we used NIC teaming technology. This allowed us to run our virtual machines straight from Cybernetics' SAN, which enabled us to take advantage of VMware's disaster recovery capabilities." He adds, "Cybernetics' snapshot and USB offloading was more effective and easier to use than VMware's inherent cloning technology that require a separate server to back up the virtual machines." Tseun accesses iSAN's intuitive on-board software to assign, allocate, and monitor the status and utilization of resources. "Once you've tested a virtual environment, you'll find out how easy it is to manage your servers from a single console. Do everything you want from your desktop."

"The major fear of virtualization is the fact that you are putting all of your eggs in one basket. Since the Cybernetics SAN is so cost effective, we just bought more baskets to move our eggs around."

Tsuen plans to add another R-Series unit and AIT5 tape library to the family of Cybernetics solutions that together help secure terabytes of the City of Montebello's mission-critical data - while making Tsuen's life much easier. "We have fully virtualized our data center, and we could not have done it without Cybernetics."

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