Japanese IT leader constructs lower-cost, high-density scalable storage environment with Scality


Scality helps cost-effectively support the data requirements of 300+ million broadband customers

BIGLOBE, one of the largest internet and cloud service providers in Japan, offers a variety of networking services, content and applications.

The company is known for offering highly reliable and valuable Internet services within three core businesses — ISP, Broadband Media, and Platform Services — to individual and corporate clientele.

Operated by NEC BIGLOBE, Ltd., BIGLOBE is a 2006 spin-off from NEC. In 2017, KDDI acquired the company for ¥80 billion.

The Challenge

BIGLOBE's mail storage system supports 300+ million broadband users, and data requirements are growing exponentially.

The company was looking to migrate to a more robust, infinitely scalable solution that would support ever-expanding customer data requirements while significantly reducing the total cost of storage. For its new email storage environment, BIGLOBE chose to migrate to an HPE ProLiant SL4500 Scalable System solution.  

  • “From the start of our operations with respect to mail infrastructure, we have systematically used trial-and-error methods to mitigate the high cost of growing data requirements.


    We are seeing a trend towards a need for total data capacity larger than 500 TB. The reason behind this growing need is we believe there is a change in the mail user mindset. Whereas before users deleted read emails, now they archive them.”

    Ryuichi Ishige, Manager of Cloud Services, BIGLOBE

In order to reduce costs for BIGLOBE’s mail service infrastructure, several changeovers were carried out. Initially, the original DNA setup was transitioned to NAS,  which resulted in a 50% cost savings. Secondarily, the move to a virtualized server environment further reduced the cost to about 1/10th of the original system.

While managing growing data demands, the project team aimed to further lower the cost of storage. When attempting to solve this dilemma, the proposal of object storage piqued the interest of Mr. Ishige and his team — and, ultimately, Scality RING won them over as the ideal solution.

The Outcome

BIGLOBE was impressed by the software-defined solution's reputation as a proven product that has been successfully implemented by many data center operators, businesses in the communications industry, and service providers requiring large-scale storage environments.

Running on Linux OS, Scality RING's ring-shaped structure operating on x86 server clusters distributes data efficiently and offers great flexibility with low TCO.

  • “It is possible to implement Scality RING with only six servers, and it is capable of expanding its storage capacity simply by adding more servers. While expanding our storage, we did not experience any downtime even without RAID management. From the data protection perspective, the ability to replicate objects multiple times over various different nodes makes data retention very secure."

    Yohei Yamamoto, NEC Solution Innovators, Ltd

NEC Solution Innovators, Ltd. is a partner company that has been supporting BIGLOBE’s development and operations for more than 10 years in various systems, including this project.