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Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association Powers Its Storage Infrastructure with NetApp

Headquartered in Westminster, Colorado, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, Inc. (Tri-State) is a wholesale electric power supplier owned by the 44 electric cooperatives and public power districts it serves. Tri-State has more than 1,500 employees and generates power for 1.5 million end consumers.

 

 

Challenge

 

Generating energy is a round-the-clock endeavor, and Tri-State mandates that critical IT systems which includes plant asset management, business intelli­gence, critical infrastructure protection (CIP), and e-mail must be available. The ability to monitor power lines 24/7 is essential to the safety of workers called to maintain or repair them.  As their 700TB of data continued to grow by 20% a year, they needed a storage solution that could scale seamlessly to accommodate its changing needs without a forklift upgrade.  They needed to provide a high level of up-time while remaining agile enough to make periodic changes to their storage infrastructure.

 

Solution

 

Tri-State engaged NetApp Professional Services to perform a clustered Data ONTAP Migration Service. NetApp migrated the company’s development and test, and production environments to clustered Data ONTAP 8.2. Tri-State has two six-node clusters of NetApp storage systems—NetApp FAS3250 and FAS8040 systems at their Westminster headquarters and NetApp FAS3220 systems at a DR site providing nondisruptive operations for the private cloud environment. Virtualized workloads include Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SharePoint Server, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle Databases.

 

Benefits

 

As a result of clustered Data ONTAP, they can now service and upgrade their infrastructure during business hours, with no downtime, eliminating the need for weekend or off-hour maintenance windows. Engineers can perform firmware upgrades, change network interfaces, and add NetApp Flash Cache PCIe cards without taking storage volumes offline.  Reliability has improved, it’s now possible to scale on –demand and management is easier.

“We were close to four 9s before, but with NetApp clustered Data ONTAP, we can offer 99.999% availability for plant management and enterprise applica­tions. Our energy production business benefits from a better performing, more resilient storage infrastructure, and we’re providing higher availability.” Steve Wesling, IT Operations/Network Manager, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association

 

“The ability to scale out and serve multiple large NFS volumes with NetApp clustered Data ONTAP is huge. We know our data is going to grow, and now we can accommodate even unforeseen spikes in growth without downtime or forklift upgrades.” Steve Wesling, IT Operations/Network Manager, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association

 

“NetApp clustered Data ONTAP gives us a highly available storage platform, and it will help us far exceed the timeline that we’d originally planned for deployment of our private cloud.” Steve Wesling, IT Operations/Network Manager, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association

 

“It’s easy to manage storage virtual machines in clustered Data ONTAP. And if we decide that what we’ve archi­tected doesn’t make sense, it’s easy to restructure it. We’ve found that manage­ment is much easier with NetApp than with other storage vendors.” Steve Wesling, IT Operations/Network Manager, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association

 

Mike McNamara