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Success story

Casio gets better storage for half the cost

Casio Computer Company develops digital devices ranging from watches and cameras to office computers. For its IT storage needs, the Tokyo-based company was using massive storage virtualization products that were expensive and required a vendor to operate. Casio migrated to Red Hat® Gluster Storage and its storage costs dropped to less than half. The solution also let Casio simplify operation of servers and storage environment from 1 console.

Customer Since

2010

Tokyo, Japan

Manufacturing Industry

Objective

Reduce high storage costs, break free of expensive proprietary technology, and build a simplified storage environment.

Hardware

  • IBM System x servers

Our costs, including various procurement costs and operating fees, fell to less than half of what they had been before implementing Red Hat Gluster Storage.

Kazuyasu Yamazaki, Group manager of the I.T. Infrastructure Group, Casio Information Service Co.

Escape from rising cost of storage tied to vendors

Casio Computer had been using enormous storage virtualization products from proprietary vendors to make maximum use of its storage environment. The company was gradually standardizing its server and network environment, but this required it to buy expensive hardware and software. Operation and maintenance had to be entrusted to the vendor, and that led to additional fees that sent costs still higher.

Turning to commodity servers helped to tame costs, but wasn’t enough.

Expenses escalate

“Commodification had gone some way toward keeping hardware costs down,” said Kazuyasu Yamazaki, group manager of the IT Infrastructure Group at Casio Information Service Co. “One item that accounted for a large percentage of our IT infrastructure costs was storage environments. In terms of storage, we were also locked in by vendors’ proprietary technologies, so we couldn’t manipulate the system ourselves. That led to further cost escalation.”

Building a conventional storage and server environment still inevitably led to buying high-cost hardware with functions and performance to meet maximum requirements.

“Our IT usage was by no means optimal or efficient,” said Yamazaki. “However much we virtualized our storage environment, we couldn’t get out of using expensive storage, and we couldn’t escape from vendor lock-in. This outlook changed when Red Hat proposed that we use Red Hat Gluster Storage.”

Casio picks Red Hat to build storage

Casio had already adopted Red Hat Virtualization in 2012 to replace its existing virtualization environment from 2005. That move cut costs and ensured Casio’s cloud deployments would endure into the future.

That also prompted Casio to select Red Hat Gluster Storage because it was compatible with the existing server virtualization environment. And it let Casio implement a storage environment using commodity servers. Red Hat Gluster Storage is a software-defined storage product that allows the internal disks of multiple commodity servers to be integrated and used as 1 large storage pool.

Control simplified

“Finally, we could build a storage environment at a low cost while using commodity servers,” said Yamazaki. “We also recognized that Red Hat Gluster Storage would enable us to control both server and storage environments from 1 single console.”

Casio started evaluating Red Hat Gluster Storage with Red Hat Virtualization in October 2012, purchased the product in January 2013, and deployed it in March of 2013.

Storage costs plummet

Once Casio implemented the combination of Red Hat Gluster Storage and Red Hat Virtualization, the company was rewarded with a dramatic drop in storage expenses. “Our costs, including various procurement costs and operating fees, fell to less than half of what they had been before implementing Red Hat Gluster Storage,” said Yamazaki.

The solution also simplified control of operations, another major advantage. Because Red Hat Gluster Storage and Red Hat Virtualization used commodity servers, Casio could control both its server and storage environments from 1 central location.

Data storage flexible

Casio was able to implement a virtual storage environment that also accommodates rarely used data that still needs to be stored, such as design data and backup data. Casio now uses Red Hat Gluster Storage as a datastore of Red Hat Virtualization.

“The transition, with Casio maintaining close communication with Red Hat consultants, went smoothly,” said Yamazaki. “We were able to establish our own technology and acquire a good sense of our IT needs, which is in itself another benefit.”

Opportunities for future

Casio continues to look toward the future for new technology it can use. The company has been deploying server virtualization for 9 years, making its integration fairly well advanced.

Casio has also evaluated Red Hat JBoss® Data Virtualization, a data integration platform that abstracts data from multiple distributed databases, virtually integrates it, and provides the user with a single view. In this way and others, Casio will have its eye on the future.

“In keeping with our enterprising spirit, we intend to continue engaging proactively with the latest technology,” said Norihito Kuniyoshi, managing director of Casio Information Service Co. “New technologies that we can use in this environment are popping up one after another.”

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