British Library Consolidates Wealth of Digital Data With Virtualization

The UK’s national library, the infamous British Library, is using a new Ethernet networking infrastructure as the basis for a number of projects to digitize huge amounts of content and to consolidate its data center using virtualization.

Stephen Lilgert, the British Library’s head of infrastructure strategy and development told IT PRO the library is celebrating its tenth anniversary at its St Pancras facility and needed to update its existing networking technology in support of a number of initiatives.

The Library now uses equipment from Foundry Networks (which coincidentally, as announced today, was acquired by Brocade) to meet demands in increased networking capacity for a wide range of digital projects, from digitizing current and historical library collections and materials, to enabling virtualization in order to control costs through better use of server infrastructure.

It is using the latest BigIron RX-8 Layer 2/3 backbone switches and FastIron Edge X Series Power over Ethernet (PoE) ready switches to augment its existing Foundry equipment already installed at its Boston Spa and St Pancras sites.

Lilgert also said VMware technology, used for 18 months now, has already helped reduce the server farm by 80 machines.

“That amounts to £14,000 a year in power, not to mention £4,000 in air-conditioning and cooling,” he said. “We’re looking to reduce our large physical server infrastructure through a combination of consolidation and virtualisation. We are running a clustered, high-availability VMware infrastructure working on the basis of around 25 virtual servers sitting on one physical host. Bandwidth, therefore, needs to be increased at the distribution layer hence the deployment of gigabit Ethernet FastIron Edge X Series switches in our computer rooms.”

[Source: IT Pro]

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