Case Study: The online matchmaker says it has reduced its administration time by 95 percent and avoids the complexity of a standard modular storage alternative.
eHarmony.com, that romantic cyber-space place where people meet and often get serious relationships off and running, has been a textbook example of a successful Web 2.0 company since it made its debut six years ago.
With more than 8 million users, Pasadena, Calif.-based eHarmony claims to be the Internets fastest-growing relationship service. It stores background text information for each registrant plus more than 9 million digital photos.
In the background, it has its own "secret sauce" matchmaking application to pair up registrants scientifically. Plus, it runs a number of other complex customer-facing applications that require extremely high amounts of bandwidth and storage capacity.
"We dont see the information flow slowing down anytime soon," eHarmony vice president of technology Mark Douglas told eWEEK. "We find ourselves having to buy storage about every 90 days."
Every 90 days? This equipment isnt cheap, nor is it exactly plug-and-play.
To accommodate this phenomenal business growthwhich literally consumes gigabytes of new capacity each dayand to support its new-business initiatives, eHarmonys IT team found out about 18 months ago that it needed to design a heretofore-unseen flexible, consolidated storage network structure to replace its aging modular-array setup.
Load-balancingthe ability for incoming and outgoing data to be automatically directed to the first available server on a 24/7 basiswas a key requirement.
"The other solutions we considered had a learning curve and a level of complexity that we just didnt want to undertake," Douglas said.
"There was going to be a lot of hands-on work to do with our six years worth of data. We wanted a more automated system, for sure."
After considering modular array alternatives from a conventional vendor that Douglas declined to name, eHarmony selected a 3PAR InServ S400 Storage Server for each of its data centers. 3PAR Thin Provisioning software was also chosen for use with eHarmonys databases.
Click here to read more about 3PARs SAN/NAS offerings.
OnStor, of Campbell, Calif., provides the NAS (network-attached storage) gateways that sit in front of the 3PAR storage arrays. CommVault provides all the redundant backup, Douglas said.
3PAR also provides key parts of the MySpace.com storage infrastructureanother highly successful, new-generation social networking site.
Next Page: Working well together.
Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz