Case Study

AHRI Looks to Nortec for Storage Solutions

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) is a trade association representing manufacturers of air conditioning, heating and commercial refrigeration equipment. AHRI’s 300+ member companies account for more than 90 percent of the residential and commercial air conditioning, space heating, water heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment manufactured and sold in North America. AHRI provides advocacy for the HVACR industry, certifies product performance, and provides statistics, tools, and research to support the industry and businesses.

The Challenge

Over the years, AHRI has relied upon Nortec to provide supplemental IT support and guidance on projects large and small. “AHRI has had a long-standing relationship with Nortec and extends engineering support to AHRI’s internal IT department on an ongoing as needed basis,” says Deb Wiker, Director of Strategic Accounts, Nortec. In addition, Nortec has provided AHRI with solution expertise for their virtualization projects, ShoreTel VOIP telecommunications system, new employee ShoreTel training, as well as a key system integrator during the merger of Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute with the Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA) in 2008 to form AHRI.

When AHRI began searching for a data archiving solution to satisfy association regulations, the organization naturally consulted Nortec. “Our File Server and especially our Exchange server was simply tapped out in terms of space,” says Brad Slatten, AHRI’s Director of IT. “We wanted to control storage consumption without having only to throw more storage at the issue, but we also needed a solution with no down time, seamless user interaction, and flexibility.” Bryan Callaghan, MCSE, Senior Consultant, Nortec, notes that “AHRI was on the brink of running out of storage, and needed help fixing the problem without impacting their user community.”

The Solution

Due to their long-standing relationship, Slatten requested Nortec as their solution partner to help resolve this problem. Nortec presented Enterprise Vault (EV) as a solution; it provides a software-based intelligent archiving platform that stores, manages, and enables discovery of corporate data from email systems, file server environments, instant messaging platforms, and content management and collaboration systems – all while simplifying management and reducing storage costs.

In addition, Enterprise Vault is also a file migration solution. During an email or file migration, a large amount of data will need to be moved, which can often cause logistical problems. Moving all of the data inside of an outage window can prove to be challenging. EV can be used to reduce the amount data to move to a more manageable size. Moving large mailboxes, the most expensive part of a migration, can require a great deal of time and resources. EV reduces the amount of data that resides in Exchange databases by archiving the data before the migration. So, should AHRI have a need for a migration, they are now ready to go with Enterprise Vault.

Using Enterprise Vault, Nortec reduced the storage needs of AHRI’s Exchange servers and made the mail and data storage system healthier, thereby enabling the Exchange server to be more efficient. Nortec removed the older files, archived them, and ultimately made data administration and user access more efficient.

The Benefits

Storage control and recovery was an ‘essential function’ for AHRI. Enterprise Vault provides a storage archiving solution that’s seamless and with no impact to the end-user. In addition to providing storage, AHRI is now in compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act without high IT maintenance costs. Enterprise Vault is a multi-sided, multi-solution product that addresses their storage, archiving, compliance, near-line, and tier-two storage solutions.
Slatten notes, “Users often don’t even realize it’s there, so it’s very seamless to them.” He adds, “Before implementing Symantec Enterprise Vault we were dealing with too steep a curve regarding storage utilization. Our Exchange databases were consuming large amounts of our available storage and were growing, with a large percentage of that storage being older, less used data. With Enterprise Vault in place we were able to gain back a comfortable buffer to deal with new data growth while seamlessly preserving access to older material.”

For more information on Nortec, please contact us at georgeh@nortec.com.