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First American Standardizes on EMC Storage

As banks network more of their applications and handle increasing amounts of information, they are faced with managing a proliferating IT infrastructure.

As banks network more of their applications and handle increasing amounts of information, they are faced with managing a proliferating IT infrastructure.

In order to simplify management and boost protection of its rapidly growing information assets, First American Bank is standardizing on CLARiiON networked storage and software from EMC. First American selected EMC over HP/Compaq EVA and Hitachi 9200 systems based on EMC CLARiiON's networked storage capabilities and ease of management.

"Compared with other vendors, EMC demonstrated the most technical competence in networked storage, the richest software set, the strongest pipeline for future functionality and a clear path to high-end solutions if and when our needs expand," according to Noel Levasseur, executive vice president at Chicago-based First American Bank.

First American relies on its CLARiiON storage area network (SAN) to provide consolidated storage to servers from HP/Compaq, Sun Solaris and Novell Netware.

The storage area network powers First American Bank's critical applications, including check imaging, financials, Oracle, SQL Server, Citrix network access, file/print, test and development.

The $1.8 billion institution has set high targets for price, performance and storage capacity. EMC's mid-tier CLARiiON solution meets the bank's storage requirements and provides the flexibility to adapt and grow its networked storage infrastructure.

Consolidating its branch-based storage onto CLARiiON helped First American reduce file/print servers from 34 to eight and generate a 50 percent return on investment.

The bank's storage capacity has grown to six terabytes, without any increase in storage administration personnel. With CLARiiON, First American has a clearer view of its storage resources and the ability to move information around more easily and efficiently.

First American purchased a full range of EMC storage area network management and business continuity software, including SnapView, MirrorView, Access Logix, Navisphere, and PowerPath.

MirrorView provides remote mirroring of critical information across two data centers located 35 miles apart. Global Services is providing design and implementation services for First American's CLARiiON SAN and business continuity infrastructure.

"As more of our customer-facing systems go online, we have become increasingly dependent on highly available storage to keep our business up and running," said Levasseur. "If our information was not available, it would be impossible to revert to manual operations."

EMC, he said, was the only vendor able to demonstrate the ability to replicate data across long distances.

"MirrorView will allow First American Bank to recover from a major downtime event in hours versus days," Levasseur added. "We're also well positioned to stay in front of coming regulations as the federal government is establishing industry guidelines for business recovery."

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