• Press Release

    August 25, 2011

    Heritage Auctions Makes Winning Bid with EMC Symmetrix VMAXe

    Heritage Auctions Makes Winning Bid with EMC Symmetrix VMAXe

    HOPKINTON, Mass. - August 25, 2011 -

    EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) today announced that Heritage Auctions, the largest collectibles auctioneer and third largest auction house in the world, has selected the new EMC® Symmetrix® VMAXe® storage system for its mission-critical SQL Server-based website and auction applications and to accelerate its move to a 98% virtualized infrastructure.

    Customer Benefits:
    • High availability—Heritage gained greater than "six nines" availability for its business-critical online auctions.
    • Easily scalable—Heritage now can easily handle global auctions with the ability to expand capacity into petabytes for its growing clientele and image library.
    • Increased performance—Flash drives enable SQL Server applications to respond nearly instantaneously, dramatically improving the online auction customer experience.
    • Improved efficiency—Automated storage tiering optimizes system performance to enable faster response to bidders while reducing total cost of ownership.
    • Ease of management—Access to tier-one storage without the need for dedicated storage administrators.
    • Fast installation—System installed in less than two hours with seamless data migration from Xiotech to the VMAXe.
    • Complete EMC Storage Infrastructure—Heritage also relies on EMC Isilon® scale-out storage to efficiently and reliably manage tens of thousands of website images of auction items.

    Heritage's infrastructure was reaching its limit, impacting the auction giant's ability to scale, support business growth and rapidly adopt virtualization. After evaluating EMC, 3Par, IBM, Xiotech, HP, Hitachi and Compellent—Heritage narrowed the field to EMC and 3Par, eventually selecting EMC VMAXe through EMC Velocity Partner INX, to replace its Xiotech infrastructure.

    "Ultimately, it came down to who we could trust to have our back if we ever needed help, and that was clearly EMC," said Brian Carpenter, Director of Information Technology, Heritage Auctions. "EMC has done something truly revolutionary in the way the VMAXe is bundled with everything you'd want in a tier-one solution. Yet they've made it very easy to manage for a mid-size shop like ours that doesn't have dedicated storage engineers. For example, the multi-controller architecture gives us six to seven nines of availability, making it easy for me to sleep at night knowing that our system is so reliable. We even put the VMAXe front and center in our data center so that customers and employees can see that we're using the latest and greatest state-of-the-art technology."

    Heritage stores its most critical data on Flash drives for nearly instantaneous response times, which speeds up the bidding process and creates a more positive experience for its customers. Meanwhile, the FAST VP tiering in VMAXe ensures that any data needed by its website is on the fastest drives and automatically places less-used data on lower-cost drives, allowing Heritage to operate its storage at a much lower cost.

    "The VMAXe is incredibly easy to use and adaptable," continued Carpenter. "We were up and running with the system in less than two hours and could migrate our data with just a point and click. The VMAXe makes it very easy to provision storage and scale as we grow the business at about 20 percent each year."

    "VMAXe opens the door for us to go full throttle with virtualization and private cloud. We're about 60 percent virtualized and our goal is to reach 98 percent in less than18 months," Carpenter said. "All our web servers, Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Cisco Unified Communications, in-house tools— basically everything—will be virtualized," said Carpenter. "The VMAXe's integration with VMware, APIs and security technologies from RSA allows us to accelerate very quickly to cloud."

    Heritage VMAXe system is configured to scale to 1.14 petabytes of tiered storage across Flash drives, 15,000 RPM Fibre Channel drives and 7,200 RPM SATA drives. With a nearly 100 percent EMC storage environment, Heritage plans to run its most critical Web and auction applications on Flash drives for maximum performance; Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint run on Fibre Channel for high performance; and less critical applications are stored on the SATA drives. VMAXe includes EMC's Fully Automated Storage Tiering – Virtual Pools (FAST VP), which automatically optimizes placement of data on each tier.

    Heritage experiences the greatest amount of growth from the web images that it stores—Big Data that consumes a lot of storage. EMC's Isilon system serves up images almost instantly and contributes to a better overall experience for Heritage's customers. Over 35 Million website images managed by SQL Server and LiquidPixels are stored on Isilon scale-out storage which is configured to scale to 15 petabytes.

    "One of our value propositions is that we keep every image forever, so the ability of Isilon to scale to petabytes of data is huge. Every image from every auction is stored indefinitely to provide customers with data to make more informed decisions on the price that they want to sell an item at or to gauge what they should bid on an item."

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