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Chukchansi Gold Resort chooses AccessFlow, Pillar Data Systems

12 March 2008

SACRAMENTO, California -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- AccessFlow, Inc., a VMware Premier Partner and VMware Rising Star of the Americas, today announced that it has partnered with Pillar Data Systems to provide a storage and server platform to virtualize the production and disaster recovery facilities for Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, ensuring data reliability and accessibility.

As one of the fastest growing casinos in California, Chukchansi mandates high availability for all of its stored information across 65 servers. In order to meet compliance requirements, the casino needed to reduce the requirement for maintenance windows, address a diminishing backup window, enable a real-time disaster recovery site, and lower overall IT expenses despite a continuing need for additional servers.

To meet these challenges, Chukchansi turned to AccessFlow, which first conducted an extensive assessment of the existing X86 and RS6000 environment utilizing VMware's CapacityPlanner and other tools. AccessFlow then designed a virtual infrastructure for Chukchansi incorporating the Pillar Axiom Application-Aware Storage system to enable application uptime and performance, with application profiles that are optimized to work with the VMware ESX Server. Cisco's MDS SAN fabric technology was also incorporated into the virtual environment.

"Our business is 24/7, and continuous uptime is paramount," said Dennis Peterson, director of information technology for Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino. "We rigorously evaluated several alternatives to address our requirements. AccessFlow's virtual infrastructure solution, incorporating VMware, Pillar, and Cisco technologies, provides us with exceptional levels of performance and reliability across our core areas of servers, storage, and networking. It reduces the cost of our IT operation while significantly reducing both planned and unplanned downtime."

The resulting architecture reduced the server footprint from 65 production servers down to seven 2-CPU machines, including high availability for all servers, and saving the Casino an estimated $1.2M over a five year period with a payback period of less than 18 months.

"Chukchansi Casino presented an interesting challenge," said Gary Lamb, CTO of AccessFlow. "Its requirement for immediate disaster recovery combined with a limited budget meant that we needed an elegant solution that provided clear efficiencies. AccessFlow is using the Pillar Axiom 500 SAN to host the virtual machines at both the production and disaster recovery sites. As part of the solution, we are also using Cisco MDS switches, which when combined with Pillar's Axiom, enables real-time replication between the production and disaster recovery facilities."

"On-demand access to critical information and applications is vital in the casino industry where data is as valuable as the betting chips themselves," said Bob Maness, vice president of marketing, Pillar Data Systems. "Pillar provides Chukchansi Casino with the safeguarding and reassurance that information will be stored and protected in an efficient manner. We are thrilled to work together with AccessFlow to continue cutting down costs and increasing data reliability and application performance for the growing casino."

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