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Data Center-in-a-Box Provides Secure, Simple Data Migration

For IT and operations leaders, a company’s growth can bring great challenges. For one multibillion-dollar corporation, the growth strategy has involved acquiring other, smaller businesses to bring needed assets and skills into the company. A consistent challenge is data migration following an acquisition.

“For business continuity and because of cost considerations, the company has elected to store all of its data in one central location, rather than having smaller data centers at each site,” explains MicroAge’s Rick Walsh. “This means that when they acquire a company, they need to find a way to get all of the data from the newly acquired company over to the company’s headquarters.”

Pelican-Hardigg Rack Mount Case is used by the military

Tough enough: Pelican-Hardigg Rack Mount Cases are used by the U.S. military

The challenge is that transferring over the LAN would take too long.

“We’re talking about terabytes and terabytes of data,” Rick says.

The company’s IT operations manager turned to Rick and MicroAge for help in creating a solution.

“I had an idea,” Rick recalls. “I had seen a data-center-in-a-box concept and thought it could work for them.”

Rick ultimately secured a Pelican-Hardigg Rack Mount Case, a product used by the U.S. military.

The rack case was outfitted with a Dell/EqualLogic SAN (30 TB), an HP server running VMWare and a Cisco switch.

“Having a server inside the case means it can handle the processing while pulling the data off the network onto the SAN,” Rick notes. “So, the company doesn’t have to do the transfer after-hours or risk a disruption in productivity among its employees.”

Once the data transfer is complete, the company puts the rack case on a plane and returns it to company headquarters, where the data is migrated to the main data center. Data access is then rerouted for the employees at the newly acquired company.

The SAN can then be wiped clean and the case re-used in the next acquisition and data migration.

“The alternatives wouldn’t have been as efficient or as secure,” Rick says. “Using the rack case and providing them with a data center in a box lets them transfer massive amounts of data in a shorter period of time and gives them confidence in its security — all without risking downtime. It’s a win-win.”

Need a creative IT solution for a business challenge? Ask Rick Walsh. Reach him at 480-366-2030 or

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Rick Walsh
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