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Israeli operator swaps out EMC technology for IBM storage systems as data volumes grow.

Pelephone Deploys IBM Storage Gear

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ARMONK, NY -- With 2.6 million mobile subscribers, Pelephone Communications Ltd., a leading Israeli telecommunications provider, has turned to IBM (NYSE: IBM) to help bring much-needed order, ease of use, and flexibility to its overstressed storage infrastructure.

Pelephone, which had been relying on an aging EMC solution comprised of two Symmetrix DMX systems and one Symmetrix VMAX system (for a total of 16 frames), was concerned about scalability, central management, and rising energy consumption, all in the face of increasing competition. As in many other countries, the telecommunications market in Israel is crowded with cross-industry vendors offering mixed solutions of fixed line, mobile, Internet, entertainment, and other services. To compete, companies must constantly create innovative products to add to their existing telco services.

"The reality of today's mobile services provider is incredibly challenging, in large part due to major cellular industry reforms that cause fierce competition over price," said Aharon Huberman, head of the IT division at Pelephone. "We must find new solutions that will bring value to our clients – like video-on-demand and music-on-demand services – while reducing operations costs."

What the company needed, Huberman said, was a smarter infrastructure for storing, managing and serving its growing data volumes; a solution that would meet their dynamic business needs with high-performance, scalability and business continuity, as well as minimal management.

After a thorough competitive review, Pelephone replaced its entire EMC environment with only three IBM XIV Storage systems, a solution that is expected to save the company $1.5US million dollars in three years, according to Huberman.

"We implemented the XIV systems with amazing speed and with a near-impossible deadline, migrating and consolidating our entire storage onto the XIVs, performing extensive testing, and moving into production in just eight weeks," said Huberman. "A big reason for that was because XIV does not require any planning – it handles provisioning of data automatically."

All told, the migration from EMC to IBM XIV included the transferring of nearly 1PB of data from 3,000 disk drives in the EMC products to just 504 high-capacity drives on the XIVs.

Through the use of XIV algorithms – that derive optimal, predictable, hotspot-free performance from high-density drives – and the company's inclusion of nearly 17TB of solid-state drive XIV flash cache, Pelephone achieved double the IOPS with the new infrastructure.

In addition to the increased performance, the smarter infrastructure is helping Pelephone reduce its footprint, lowering energy consumption by up to 50 kW of energy per hour. And use of IBM SAN Volume Controller storage virtualization software (equipped with Real-time Compression) has enabled the company to store data on 80-90 percent less disk space. Combined, these technologies are helping Pelephone save hundreds of thousands of dollars in power and cooling alone over the previous architecture.

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

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