Architectural Nexus uses Autodesk Revit® 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) software, which has resulted in a massive explosion of data. The 3D modeling produces design files that are highly detailed and complex (the average file size for an Architectural Nexus project is between 300MB-800MB, with some as large as 3GB), and require a great deal of performance in terms of I/O and memory to operate properly. If the storage capacity of the high-performance computing required for these files is not available, it can easily bring a project to a halt and frustrate users.
The Salt Lake City office is the company headquarters and has a fully resilient architecture, including solar powered backup batteries. Sacramento is a secondary location and does not have the same levels of redundancy. The firm wanted the ability to replicate files from one location to the other so that their engineering staff would always have access to their data if one of the sites went offline. They also wanted file location to be transparent to their staff.
Additionally, with virtual drives that are over 8TB, they were concerned that the amount of time it would take to get the staff up and running the even to of a worst-case situation. The final challenge they were having was the time and effort of doing manual file archiving. In order to reserve enough space on their most expensive primary storage for active projects, their storage administrator would spend hours every month manually archiving files to their lower-cost second tier of storage.