Creation of a system of archive storage of mail data and file services
Having built a powerful hi-end-based system of corporative data storage in 2006, ROSBANK JSCB faced the necessity of making regular additional investment into expanding the capacity of disc store prompted by business growth. Simple calculations showed that soon the data storage system may turn into prohibitively expensive and low profitable element of the bank's corporative IT infrastructure. That is why a decision was taken to introduce technologies, which would allow saving the precious space of operating data store by means of more reliable, slower, storage systems that would keep the information not required in operational access. In global practice this approach is called Information Lifecycle Management (ILM).
The first system, transferred to ILM technology control, was corporative e-mail system of the bank's head office based on IBM Lotus Domino software. The volumes of the users' mail boxes occupied a substantial part in the operation memory of a data storage system.
ROSBANK JSCB addressed Open Technologies to introduce ILM.
The specialists of the system integrator and engineers of EMC corporation made the necessary consulting works, suggested possible architectural solutions and variants of mail messengers storing policies. After that the main components of ILM system were introduced. The system was based on EMC EmailXtender software providing for high accessibility of the archive via Microsoft Cluster MSCS and EMC Centera platforms with CAS.
A test stand with offered system and control software was deployed on the territory of the bank on the first stage. The components of the stand were selected for the most unbiased representation of the current system of data storage in the bank, characteristics of the existing information and requirements to its accessibility. It allowed the bank checking the compatibility of the proposed software and equipment with the banks existing IT infrastructure, assess the efficiency of the selected system and take a grounded decision on the necessity of its launch.
By introducing the ILM, ROSBANK JSCB managed to lower the operation storage space of its mail boxes and files of users, which allowed freeing space for corporative DBMS and reduce the estimated investments for the growth of data storage capacity.
A little bit later the ILM technology was applied for the bank's corporative file services of the bank controlled by Novell Netware software and the most sensitive to the operational resources of DSS. As well as e-mail ILM system, this decision is based on EMC Centera platform. The file servers are connected with the platform by CaminoSoft HSM.
"The introduced system of mail data and file service system will provide for fast access to the most important information, expand the term of storage, and continuous reliability of the most important documents. In its turn, it will help to raise the efficiency of our business processes and provide for satisfaction of corporative clients. We are satisfied with ILM and are planning further introduction of this technology for optimization of the bank's corporative automated service data storage", said Vitaly Borrisov, Deputy Director on Information Technologies at Rosbank JSCB.
According to Yegor Borodiansky, Deputy Director General on Financial Sector at Open Technologies, "Our approach enabled the bank to settling several important objectives on optimization of data storage. This project is important both for us and the customer and hopefully, it will continue".
Technical details of the project
EMC EmailXtender software allows moving messages from the users' mail boxes to more economical storages freeing overloaded servers, cuts the time of reserve copying and consolidates messages for simplification of their use, search and extraction. The transfer of messages to the archive is completely transparent for the users. The transferred message is opened by the client in exactly the same way it was opened before storing. In its turn, EMC Centera platform provides collection and storage of the initial content without influencing the context and the structure of electronic documents. It provides for productivity, typical of disc systems, and stability of information, typical of optical media and lower costs (TCO) than those of tape media.
In set regular periods, the created system of storing mail data frees mail boxes of messages, which, in compliance with the developed policies, are defined as "having relatively large size and rarely used". A link on a copy of these messages in the archive appears in the mail box. One can restore the letter by clicking the link. Thus, the used disc space is freed and the mail system runs faster. Beside, the ILM technology enables the bank to solving the problem of ever growing correspondence without administrative quotas on the capacity of the users' mail boxes.
One of the principal peculiarities of the proposed decision is that context contents indexes are created for the letters that are sent to the archive. The search of the necessary message in the archive takes less time than direct looking through the received mail, while the mail server is not loaded during the search.
Another advantage of message archive system, which is very im[portent in certain cases, is a possibility of restoring the letters that were deleted by mistake and didn't get into the everyday reserve copy. It is possible, as the messages are stored in real-time mode. The advantage of the archive system is that it automatically duplicates similar messages. For instance, the message sent to many users from one mail list is stored in a single copy.