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St. Paul Public Housing Agency Opens the Door to Hybrid Solutions from Tegile Systems and Clear North Technologies

NEWARK, Calif., Jan. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- After experiencing major problems, including application slowdowns and employee complaints, the St. Paul Public Housing Agency (PHA) replaced its aging SAN array with a flash-driven array from Tegile Systems.


PHA provides more than 800 affordable housing units to more than 20,000 low-income residents in the city. It owns and manages 4,247 units of city-owned public housing and administers 4,500 vouchers under HUD's Section 8 program.

The agency managed its network of housing assets and tenants with a highly virtualized VMware infrastructure built on Dell servers and storage, using vSphere 5.0 to load virtual machines running Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 for its Virtual Desktop Infrastructure users.  The application profile included Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and 2008 R2, Exchange 2007 and Citrix XenApp for virtual application delivery. The existing tiered solution required a forklift upgrade to add capacity and costly licensing additions to alleviate the need for manual tiering in order to address constant battles between the performance and capacity requirements of applications.

Before St. Paul PHA pulled the trigger on the array upgrade, the agency's IT solution provider, Clear North Technologies, recommended a flash-driven storage array from Tegile Systems, with the ensuing purchase of a Zebi HA2100 array.

Clear North performed a fast, trouble-free and 100 percent successful upgrade to the Zebi array. Replacing the legacy array with hybrid Zebi storage immediately solved St. Paul PHA's storage performance problems without requiring any planning for "tiers" of storage since they don't exist in the Zebi.  The Zebi HA2100 is architected to deliver the performance benefits of flash storage throughout the data path, even for application data that is ultimately stored on hard disk.  The high IOPS performance of the Zebi array has slashed boot and reboot times on all virtual machines – including VDI instances – from 3 to 4 minutes to 45 seconds or less on average. Backup issues have disappeared with SQL backup windows reduced by 80 percent from hours to just minutes using the same maintenance plans.

Fibre Channel support on the Zebi made it a virtual plug-and-play solution for the PHA's existing vSphere environment.  This made migrations easy and made the purchase of additional network infrastructure unnecessary.  Future changes to the infrastructure will be easy to support if PHA chooses to upgrade to 10Gb iSCSI or NFS.

St. Paul PHA has also experienced unprecedented storage efficiency on its production data from Tegile's inline data de-duplication and compression technologies.  All of the migrated virtual machines and data were consuming approximately 8TB of block space on the old SAN, and are now consuming just over 2TB on the Zebi. Tegile's data optimization reduced the original data load by 45 percent, from 5.08TB to 2.8TB with just compression applied to  SQL databases and logs and Exchange 2007 databases and logs, and both compression and de-duplication used for all other data. The agency is planning to add de-duplication for Exchange database LUNs when it completes an Exchange 2010 upgrade.

In addition, moving from a legacy array to the Zebi array produced major OPEX savings in power and data center floor space.  The SAN consumed at least three times the wattage of the Zebi HA2100 and occupied exactly three times the rack space while providing only 25 percent of the performance.

"Tegile is a well-performing, efficient storage that fit this customer very well from an application need, capacity need and available rack space," said Ben Kendall, Clear North Senior Network Engineer. "The inline de-duplication and inline compression will be a huge benefit as well as the multi-protocol support such as Fiber Channel, iSCSI and NFS."

"We were happy to work with Clear North to alleviate the problems of St. Paul PHA so they could continue to focus their attention on serving the needs of their community instead of wrestling legacy storage systems," said Rob Commins, Tegile vice president of marketing.  "They were able to upgrade to our feature-rich Tegile storage array for less than the cost of a hardware refresh."

About Clear North Technologies
Clear North Technologies is a leading IT solution provider headquartered in Plymouth, Minnesota with an additional office in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Established in 1993, the company offers technology services and support primarily for small and medium sized businesses. These services include:  managed services, cloud computing, security, storage, virtualization, network support, desktop support, hardware + software procurement, and remote access. Visit  or call 952.828.9434 for more information. Follow Clear North on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

About Tegile Systems
Tegile Systems is pioneering a new generation of flash-driven enterprise storage arrays that balance performance, capacity, features and price for virtualization, file services and database applications. With Tegile's Zebi line of hybrid storage arrays, the company is redefining the traditional approach to storage by providing a family of arrays that is significantly faster than all hard disk-based arrays and significantly less expensive than all solid-state disk-based arrays.

Tegile's patented MASS technology accelerates the Zebi's performance and enables on-the-fly de-duplication and compression of data so each Zebi has a usable capacity far greater than its raw capacity. Tegile's award-winning technology solutions enable customers to better address the requirements of server virtualization, virtual desktop integration and database integration than other offerings. Featuring both NAS and SAN connectivity, Tegile arrays are easy-to-use, fully redundant, and highly scalable. They come complete with built-in auto-snapshot, auto-replication, near-instant recovery, onsite or offsite failover, and virtualization management features. Additional information is available at Follow Tegile on Twitter @tegile.

Dan Miller, JPR Communications
818-884-8282, ext. 13

SOURCE Tegile Systems

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