SOURCE: Compellent Technologies

Compellent Technologies

September 22, 2010 15:00 ET

AlphaStaff Answers Astronomical Growth With Compellent Fluid Data Storage

Leading Human Resource Outsourcing Company Replaces HP Storage With Compellent Automated Tiered Storage to Improve Performance of Critical Business Applications

EDEN PRAIRIE, MN--(Marketwire - September 22, 2010) -   AlphaStaff's reputation for providing excellent service to its clients has been the impetus behind the human resource outsourcing company's dramatic growth. Once employing 6,000 people, the success of AlphaStaff's service model pushed its size to more than 80,000 employees in just five years, making it the fourth-largest HR outsourcing company. The rate of AlphaStaff's data growth -- which ranges from employee benefits information to taxable rates to payroll information -- was quickly outgrowing the company's HP storage system, which couldn't scale to meet business needs or provide the performance needed to handle critical applications.

AlphaStaff needed an intelligent, self-managing storage solution to handle its growing data requirements. Jack Rahner, vice president of IT operations from AlphaStaff, evaluated solutions from HP, NetApp and Compellent, and turned to the Compellent storage area network (SAN) to replace the company's legacy HP storage.

"We handle lots of information for every one of our clients, and our previous storage system couldn't effectively scale to meet our rapidly growing needs. To make matters worse, the increased workload on the legacy system crippled the performance of our important ERP system," said Rahner. "By using automated tiered storage, snapshots that capture block-level changes and thin replication, we now have a high-performance, agile and reliable storage solution that can grow along with us."

Solid state drives (SSDs) with Compellent automated tiered storage have had a measurable impact on data center operations, which has improved overall business operations. By leveraging the Compellent automated tiered storage feature, AlphaStaff has moved 80 percent of its data to lower tiers of 7.2K 1TB and 2TB SAS drives, saving $50,000 a year in disk drive costs and freeing up the SSDs for the mission-critical ERP system. Rahner reports that the SSDs have improved ERP system performance by more than 80 percent, dropping latency from more than 10ms to about 1ms. Furthermore, since data is migrated automatically between tiers, Rahner has been able to reassign a full-time staff member from managing data to more important projects.

Rahner also uses Compellent's space-efficient data snapshots in conjunction with thin replication for disaster recovery. AlphaStaff's recovery time objective (RTO), once as high as 24 hours, is now just 10 minutes.

"AlphaStaff is a fast-growing company that's quickly rising to the top of the professional HR outsourcing industry, so it needs a high-performance storage solution that can adapt to future needs," said Scott Horst, vice president of corporate marketing for Compellent. "The combination of SSDs with automated tiered storage means that the company can continue growing without worrying about running out of space or degrading performance for critical applications."

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About Compellent
Compellent Technologies (NYSE: CML) provides Fluid Data storage solutions that automate the movement and management of data at a granular level, enabling organizations to constantly adapt to change, slash costs and secure information against downtime and disaster. This patented, built-in storage intelligence delivers significant efficiency, scalability and flexibility. With an all-channel sales network in 35 countries, Compellent is one of the fastest growing enterprise storage companies in the world. For more information and news, visit and