Plan B Technologies: An All-Flash Storage Approach for NewAge Data Centers

Steve Taylor, CTO
When Dr. Fujio Masuoka demonstrated his latest invention of erasing all the data from a semiconductor chip in order to reuse the memory, his colleague, Shoji Ariizumi was reminded of the flash of a camera. Decades later, NetApp embodied Masuoka’s invention of ‘flash’ memory in All- Flash Storage Arrays for businesses. Annapolis-based Plan B Technologies, Inc. (PBT), a NetApp Platinum Partner, began its journey in all-flash storage just as the technology hit the market.“By introducing all-flash storage arrays, NetApp ratified what we desired from flash memory technology,” states Steve Taylor, CTO at Plan B Technologies, Inc. As an IT solutions provider, PBT helps its clients overcome storage challenges in their data center. “Since PBT’s inception in 2001, one of our focuses has been on building a datacenter for our clients that is highly scalable, robust, and easy to maintain, while addressing business continuity and disaster recovery requirements,” informs Steve Taylor. The company serves data-intensive industries like legal, healthcare, and financial institutions that face storage challenges due to the large influx and retention of data.

By leveraging NetApp’s solutions, Plan B Technologies,Inc. has been helping numerous clients store more data with minimal resources, all while increasing the efficiency of their datacenters. “We first establish the current storage technology being employed by our clients,” says Taylor. PBT then consults with the client to better understand their requirements and challenges. Taylor emphasizes educating clients which he believes bi-directional. Based on their consultation, PBT arrives at a unified approach that offers a tiered and automatic method of managing the complexities based on the requirements defined.

Additionally, the company quarterly reviews and evaluates the technology environment based on any business changes or technological advancements.
“We recommend reversioning where it makes sense, based on the technology furtherance, be it a new firmware, updates, capabilities, and features,” he adds. One of the many beneficiaries of such an approach is a Washington, DC, based healthcare organization. As a PBT customer for the past 7 years, the organization approached PBT to revamp its existing datacenter. The hospital was in the process of rolling out a new data center for better performance and disaster recovery capabilities, along with more secure mandates around meaningful use. PBT implemented VMware for better virtualization, Citrix’s desktop virtualization, and flash storage from NetApp to enhance their environment. “Once the flash memory technology was deployed, log on times went from 50-60 seconds, in their previous environment, down to less than 10 seconds,” remarks Taylor. “Application start time also reduced from 20-30 seconds to 5 seconds or less.” PBT received an exhilarating response from the client stating that the new data center is experiencing one hour returned to each shift by the efficiencies in computing operations.


By introducing All-Flash Storage Arrays, NetApp ratified what we desired from flash memory technology


In light of the success drawn from a myriad of similar implementations, PBT is also gearing towards a deeper utilization of cloud. “We are working toward empowering our clients to better monitor their customer environment and patching, maintaining and validating their operating environment,” says Taylor. With strategic acquisitions, PBT aims to bolster a Manage-as-a-Service offering to gain more depth and insight into clients’ environment.

Company
Plan B Technologies

Headquarters
Annapolis, MD

Management
Steve Taylor, CTO

Description
An IT solutions and professional services provider serving clients in the Mid-Atlantic.