Archive Migration A Success For County Clerk
September 12, 2018 Alex Woodie
A county clerk’s office in Illinois that relies on IBM i-based applications to keep its records straight has successfully migrated its archive from an older Ultra-Density Optical (UDO) setup to a network attached storage (NAS)-based device that utilizes newer optical technology. Best of all, the new storage solution didn’t impact response times on the IBM i server one bit.
The Madison County Circuit Clerk’s Office was up against a mandate to comply with a new State of Illinois law requiring documents in civil court proceedings to be stored electronically and to be available for real-time access. While its JANO Justice Case Management System and underlying IBM i server were up for the challenge, the 10-year-old UDO appliance that actually stored the records was not.
The solution presented itself in the form of a NAS storage device developed by Alliance Storage Technologies. The Colorado Springs, Colorado-based company says it provided the clerk’s office with a NETArchive S10 NAS device, a desktop storage appliance that features Sony’s Optical Disk Archive (ODA) storage technology.
Sony introduced ODA in 2012 as a data-archival version of the Blu-ray disk (it’s not compatible with Blu-ray, however). Each ODA cartridge houses 12 individual optical disks that store about 300GB each (with the latest Gen 2 technology), giving each cartridge a capacity of 3.6TB. Data can be written at about 1Gbits per second and read at speeds of about 2Gbits per second.
The NETArchive S10 support one or two Sony’s ODA-1 drives, which spin at rates up to 10,000 RPM. Up to 10 of the cartridges can be housed in the NAS device, which utilizes robotics that prevent human hands from ever needing to touch a cartridge. According to Sony, the ODA disks have a 100-year rated media life and are faster than LTO tape drives, while providing write-once read-many (WORM) protections required in regulated industries.
The Madison County Circuit Clerk’s Office implemented the Alliance Storage NAS device to support the near-line data access needs the new law required. Requests for archived court records now come back much faster than they did under the UDO technology, according to Brian Davis, who’s manages application support for Madison County Circuit Court Office.
“Access times have been greatly improved,” Davis says in an Alliance Storage press release. “Where data access previously required direct media access, taking 20 seconds on average, it is now virtually instantaneous.”
What’s more, the office was able to implement the new ODA-based storage solution without impacting the IBM i server processing the requests. “Importantly, we have also ensured no additional impact to the iSeries System performance by distributing I/O workload to the NETArchive system,” Davis says.
The office didn’t get rid of the UDO-based storage system, however. Instead, it configured the UDO optical storage equipment – which is no longer supported by vendors – as the passive high availability backup to the newer ODA gear. Data is continuously replicated from the ODA to the UDO system, and the UDO system is ready to take over primary archive duties should the ODA system ever go down.
That’s what you call a “win-win” in the State of Illinois. “Installation of the NETArchive with continued usage of the UDO Archive Appliance has allowed us to make the most of our previous investments and fully meet the challenges and goals we identified,” Davis says.