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Liz McMillan

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News Item

TrafficBroker Eliminates Advertising Bottlenecks With 3PAR

Paid Search Specialist Reduces Storage Capacity Purchases by 25% and Triples Administrative Efficiency

3PAR (NYSE: PAR), a provider of utility storage, announced that Internet marketing agency and paid search specialist TrafficBroker has consolidated onto 3PAR Utility Storage to triple administrative efficiency and reduce capacity requirements within its datacenter. With 3PAR, TrafficBroker has gone from a complex and poorly performing environment to a highly agile and efficient virtual datacenter running on a single, consolidated 3PAR InServ® Storage Server.

TrafficBroker's unique performance-based payment terms for their customers give the marketing agency a competitive edge. However, this differentiated business model puts additional pressure on the paid search specialist's datacenter to not only deliver high performance levels, but to offer high levels of availability -- even when scaling to meet more than 100% year-over-year growth.

"We couldn't keep running our datacenter the way we used to. It wouldn't have worked. We had a hodgepodge of incompatible servers that were purchased at various times and with varying power and any time we wanted to do something new it was extremely painful and soaked up weeks of time we couldn't afford," said Lukas Oberhuber, Chief Technology Officer at TrafficBroker. "With 3PAR, we have consolidated all of our storage onto a single tiered array that works seamlessly with server virtualization to deliver the performance and flexibility we need at a competitive price."

Prior to deploying 3PAR, TrafficBroker's storage was limited to the SATA disks inside their various servers. The paid search specialist was also using different machines for different applications -- one for Microsoft Exchange, one for virtual desktops, another for keyword business management, and so on. With 3PAR, TrafficBroker still uses cost-efficient SATA (also known as Nearline) disks for test and development purposes, but they have also increased service levels by using high-performance Fibre Channel disks for their more demanding workloads. Both tiers are housed within a single, consolidated, highly virtualized 3PAR Utility Storage array that is simple to manage and enhances the efficiency of the marketing agency's virtual server and virtual desktop deployments.

"These days, online businesses cannot afford to run sub-optimal datacenters," said Tony Lock, Programme Director at analyst firm Freeform Dynamics. "For many organizations server virtualization offers significant cost and service flexibility advantages. And more and more datacenters are now finding that virtual server deployments are much more efficient and have greater ROI when combined with virtualized storage, especially when the virtualized storage has effective and easily utilized management and administration capabilities."

Administrative Savings
With 3PAR Utility Storage, TrafficBroker has reduced storage administration time by eliminating the need to manually grow volumes. 3PAR Thin Provisioning software enables TrafficBroker to safely overallocate virtual capacity up-front without having to purchase physical capacity until it is actually needed for written data. This, combined with the native administrative simplicity of the consolidated 3PAR InServ array and the elimination of nine standalone servers, has tripled administrative efficiency within the marketing agency's datacenter.

"We were able to seamlessly grow our virtual machine footprint from six VMs to nearly 50 VMs," said Oberhuber. "This transparent growth would not have been possible had we been using traditional storage arrays."

Capacity Savings
By eliminating the need to allocate storage to users and applications up-front, 3PAR Thin Provisioning has also increased capacity utilization at TrafficBroker, thereby reducing physical capacity requirements by 25%. By consolidating 3PAR Utility Storage, the marketing agency was able to purchase 15% less capacity than was required to perform the same tasks with traditional storage systems. This was due to the InServ's native tiered storage capabilities and also to the efficiency of 3PAR Fast RAID 5, which delivers performance levels comparable to RAID 1 but with 66% less capacity overhead.

Increased Agility
With 3PAR, TrafficBroker runs an agile, virtualized infrastructure which has enabled their datacenter to not only sustain high performance levels but to scale non-disruptively. As a result of deploying utility storage, TrafficBroker has eliminated planned downtime and the need to take applications offline since they now optimize their storage on-the-fly. TrafficBroker uses 3PAR System Reporter software to monitor which systems are consuming the most I/O and then 3PAR Dynamic Optimization to move that application data to higher-performing resources as necessary -- simply, and without impacting production. TrafficBroker also uses 3PAR Dynamic Optimization to autonomically balance workloads after adding capacity to their array.

"By building their datacenter on top of highly virtualized 3PAR Utility Storage, TrafficBroker has achieved high performance levels for mission-critical applications while reducing costs and gaining the agility to scale simply and painlessly," said David Scott, President and CEO for 3PAR. "When a company outgrows their datacenter, this presents an ideal opportunity to think strategically about how virtualization technology can make a business more agile and efficient."

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