UPDATED 11:18 EDT / MAY 11 2015


From T-Rex skeletons to moon landing artifacts, all-flash is improving auctions | #emcworld

As the third-largest auction house in the world, Heritage Auctions is a fascinating use-case for EMC’s storage and data management systems. With high-end auction items ranging from artifacts from the moon landings to T-Rex skeletons and transactions in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, reliable IT services are an absolute must.

With Heritage’s live-bidding platform, a few hours of downtime could result in thousands of dollars in lost sales. But Adam Wood, Heritage’s director of IT, told theCUBE during EMC World 2015 that he was still excited about his work — and the company’s recent upgrade to all-flash storage.

The challenges of a large development team


Because the owner of Heritage is a big believer in IT, the company has a large development team. But that poses its own challenges, Wood said. “We have about 200+ internal apps. And as time goes on, we’re always adding more and more apps, everyone wants new features, all this stuff. And we’re wondering, how do we improve the performance of all the apps we’re using? We don’t have the time or the resources to go back and rewrite 200 apps … [so] how can we give all those apps a huge speed boost at once? And everything ties into SQL. It’s our bidding platform, our item inventory, our customer management platform … so it was really obvious to us, if we upgrade SQL, get rid of that latency … go all-flash, we can give a huge performance benefit to all those apps all at once.”

With the new all-flash storage, backups happen much more quickly, but the most important factor driving the switch was system latency, Wood said. “The latency in SQL was what we were looking to optimize. We’ve [now] got, I think, an average latency of under a millisecond. Which is insane!”

It’s also very reliable and potentially very long-lasting. “You get a much more reliable system when you don’t have those spinning disks failing all the time,” he says. “The longevity of that flash is incredible.”

Watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of EMC World 2015.

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