Storage Service Expectations
The OIT Storage service is maintained 24 x 7 x 365, and is expected to be available to the Customer and Users except during scheduled maintenance windows or emergency updates. Due to the design of the Storage environment these planned outages are expected to be rare as they would be limited to patches/upgrades that require an entire array to be down at once and/or other infrastructure outages (network, power, SAN etc. that affect the entire Storage infrastructure). Any outages (planned or unplanned) will be posted to our IT Alerts page.
The hardware utilized to provide this service has all been designed for five 9’s availability. As part of that, redundancy has been designed in for the following components.
Storage array controllers, power, SAN connectivity, and network connectivity.
The data on disk is also protected via various RAID levels and hardware level health checks.
All arrays are monitored with alarming 24/7 for any errors or issues. The high level of monitoring and alarms combined with the redundancy built into the arrays allows us to provide this highly available solution.
Monitoring tools from the Array’s allow the SAN team to identify and resolve performance related issues often before they are noticed from the service. If a service owner is seeing performance issues then the storage team will work with the service owner to determine whether the issue is storage, server, application, etc. and determine the proper resolution strategy. If a performance issue is related to requiring a migration to a faster level of storage (i.e. Bronze to Silver), then the Storage team will work closely with the service owners to resolve. If it is determined that the storage needs to be migrated to a different level of storage, this can often be done without an outage or downtime of the service.
Although the storage hardware has a significant amount of redundancy built in, it is recommended that the data also be backed up using OIT’s TSM backup service.
SAN attached storage is backed up at the host level and is the responsibility of the Sys-admin and customer to install, configure, and manage their backups as well as any multipathing software for redundancy and high availability.
NAS attached storage is backed up utilizing a separate TSM backup mule. Similar to SAN attached storage, it is the responsibility of the customer to install, configure, and manage the backup mule. In addition to backups, for all production NAS file systems, 7 days of snapshots will be captured and retained utilizing the functionality of the arrays.
An additional level of protection is available (Gold or NAS replicated) where an array-based replication of the data is stored on a second array in another datacenter. This second copy of the data provides a hot backup that typically allows the service to be restored much faster than a traditional backup/recovery in the event of a catastrophic equipment and/or datacenter failure.
Billing will occur monthly at a rate of 1/12 the standard annual billing rate. Rates are re-evaluated after significant storage purchases or configuration changes (usually in the fall), but are not expected to increase due to the continued industry trends. In the event rates are ever increased, OIT will communicate these changes well in advance to allow departments time to plan and budget properly.