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Columbia Sportswear to use EMC Symmetrix VMAX
Sep '11
EMC Corporation announced that Columbia Sportswear, a leading innovator in active outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment, is utilizing EMC Symmetrix VMAX storage systems with leading technologies including FAST VP (fully automated storage tiering for virtual pools) and flash drives (also known as SSDs) as the foundation of its rapidly expanding VMware environment and its journey to the cloud.

Customer Benefits:
• Reduced Footprint – Symmetrix VMAX enables 50% more VMware virtual machines to be supported in 25% less space; infrastructure is now more than 95% virtualized
• Greater Efficiency – Drive utilization to be increased by 40% using Symmetrix VMAX with EMC FAST VP
• Increased Savings – Automated tiering of FLASH, SATA and Fibre Channel Drives in Symmetrix VMAX reduced storage TCO by 40%.
• Increased Performance – Symmetrix VMAX increased performance of VMware environment and enabled higher service levels and move toward cloud infrastructure

In 2009, Columbia set out to build a new, more efficient data center with enhanced disaster recovery and automation. After reviewing its requirements, Columbia decided that a move toward a cloud computing environment would be the best approach. In addition to EMC, Columbia considered storage systems, including; IBM, Hitachi, HP and others including 3Par, Dell, Lefthand and NetApp, ultimately selecting EMC.

"Our challenge was to build a data center with new levels of automation and the highest levels of protection," said Dan Hein Director of Global IS Shared Services. "We evaluated many vendors and ultimately selected EMC because of the features in Symmetrix VMAX, EMC's holistic view on storage with a variety of technologies and industry leading solutions that we knew we could count on."

Over the past 2 years, Columbia Sportswear's IT environment has evolved from 20%-30% virtualized to more than 95% virtualized. The four Symmetrix VMAX systems it deployed enabled more capacity to be stored in 25% less floor space and, more importantly, enabled a 50% increase in the number of virtual machines supported. The company is also implementing FAST VP and Flash drives as part of its automation strategy.

"The ability to tier our storage automatically using FAST VP will be a huge benefit to us," said Mike Leeper Senior Manager of IT Engineering. "We expect to increase our drive utilization by 40% while ensuring that the most frequently utilized data is automatically placed on the highest performing drives, to speed up application performance. And being able to take advantage of mixed drive configurations with Flash and SATA, managed by FAST VP, will also give us more flexible configurations with cost savings for our Tier 1 applications."

Columbia has virtualized nearly all of its critical applications including website transaction, supply chain, EP and SQL applications. In addition to Symmetrix VMAX, Columbia relies on a numberof other leading EMC technologies in its infrastructure including: EMC RecoverPoint data protection technologies, EMC unified storage systems, EMC Data Domain deduplication technology and it also utilizes VCE Vblock Infrastructure Platforms.

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