Mavis Discount Tire Keeps Servers Rolling with SIOS SANless Clusters

“SIOS DataKeeper Cluster Edition software is a good technology for a company that is growing rapidly. It is easy to use and eliminates the need to buy unnecessary SAN hardware or redundant switches.” – Edward Schwartz, CIO, Mavis Discount Tire

Mavis Discount Tire is a New York-based tire retailer with 150 stores throughout the northeastern US. The company relies on business critical applications running on SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition and SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition to manage their orders, inventory, and other business-critical processes.

For these retail stores, application performance is a critical priority. “Our retail stores need fast, reliable access to these applications to operate,” said Edward Schwartz, CIO, Mavis Discount Tire. “To keep customer satisfaction high, we cannot afford slow response times or downtime.”

The Challenge: High Availability for SQL Server

The company needed a way to provide high availability (HA) protection for its SQL Server applications and databases that would not impede performance. The company considered using traditional clustering using Windows Server Failover Clustering.

However, to implement a traditional cluster solution and maintain the high level of performance they needed, Mavis Discount Tire would have required multiple SANs and both dedicated and redundant external switches. “While a traditional WSFC environment would have protected our applications from downtime, it requires SAN storage which adds cost, complexity, and performance overhead,” said Schwartz. Since the company does not store large volumes of data, they saw little value in the storage benefits of deploying external SANs.

They were also concerned about the performance impact that SAN storage could have had on the highly transactional SQL Server databases.

The Solution: SANless High Availability & Disaster Recovery

The Mavis Discount Tire IT department chose SIOS SANless software to provide HA and disaster recovery (DR) protection without the need for a SAN.

“We used WSFC to create two node clusters for our SQL Server environments in the same way a traditional cluster is created,” said Schwartz. “We simply added SIOS DataKeeper Cluster Edition software to enable us to use local storage in a SANless configuration.” The SIOS software uses performance-optimized host-based replication to synchronize local storage on the primary and standby nodes in the cluster, creating storage that appears to the WSFC as a SAN.

The Results: High Availability, Fast Applications

Mavis Discount Tire has been using SIOS SANless clusters to protect its business critical SQL Server applications for more than four years. The SIOS software provides high availability without slowing performance. By using SANless clusters, Mavis IT staff also eliminated the single point of failure risk of a shared storage cluster.

“The SIOS DataKeeper Cluster Edition software is a good technology for a company that is growing rapidly. It is easy to use and eliminates the need to buy unnecessary SAN hardware or redundant switches,” said Schwartz.

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