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BIGLOBE is one of the leading internet service providers in Japan, operated by NEC BIGLOBE, Ltd., a 2006 spin-off from NEC. KDDI acquired the company in January 2017 for 80 billion yen.

“The HPE ProLiant SL4540 can reduce the cost by 2/3 in comparison with conventional storage environments. When we forecasted for the next five years after installation, we determined that the highest return on investment would be obtained with the ProLiant SL4540.”

Ryuichi Ishige Manager of Cloud Services, BIGLOBE
BIGLOBE constructs lower-cost, high-density scalable storage environment.

As a leading Japanese internet and cloud service provider, BIGLOBE is migrating to a more robust mail storage system for their 3 million broadband clients. BIGLOBE chose HPE ProLiant SL4540 Gen8 Server powered by Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2400 product family running the Scality RING software package.

The Challenges

Support customer data requirements— which had already exceeded 500 TB—with a robust, scalable mail storage system while significantly reducing the total cost of storage (installation, operation, data center).

BIGLOBE is one of Japan’s leading ISPs. NEC started PC communication service PC-VAN in 1986, and 10 years later 3 different communication services were merged to create BIGLOBE. BIGLOBE has since expanded into cloud services and the MVNO business. In 2014, BIGLOBE became independent from NEC. Currently, BIGLOBE is migrating its email storage environment to an HPE ProLiant SL4500 Scalable System solution in order to meet the growing data requirements of its 300 million broadband users. Ryuichi Ishige, Manager of Cloud Services, said

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

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

“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.”

While managing growing data demands, the project team had to lower the cost of storage.
When attempting to solve this dilemma, the proposal of object storage piqued Mr. Ishige’s and his team’s interest.

The Solution

Implementing Scality RING to support object storage

Scality RING runs on Linux OS. The ring shaped structure operating on x86 server clusters distributes data efficiently and offers great flexibility. Scality RING, a scale-out Software Defined Storage (SDS) solution, is a proven product that has been implemented by many service providers that require large-scale storage environments, data center operators, and businesses in the communications industry.

“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 from NEC Solution Innovators, Ltd. stated. 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.

Unlimited Storage for the Digital Enterprise

The digital revolution imposes an array of new technology demands. IT needs to massively scale to support Big Data, quickly deliver new applications and innovations, and ensure data availability 24×7. All this is beyond the capabilities of traditional storage architectures.

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