Jim Gross

Vice President of IT Operations at AAR Corp.

Latest posts by Jim Gross (see all)

As a provider of supply chain management, logistics and inventory support to commercial, government and defense aviation customers in 100 countries, we at AAR focus on tip-to-tail aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul. Our data is the very definition of mission critical: its use literally keeps planes in the sky for customers, such as the U.S. Department of Defense. We manage fleets of passenger planes and military aircraft, and it’s just not possible to go a single minute without access to our data.


According to The Motley Fool, the aerospace sector is teed up for ongoing success due to aging commercial fleets, steady airborne military, and the opportunity to put more fuel-efficient planes into use. This represents a huge opportunity for companies like ours, as long as we can protect and leverage our data to help our customers evolve into the new market landscape. We were successfully riding the industry’s growth wave—until our aging IT began slowing us down.

Our legacy HP storage solutions were struggling to process the increasing volume of data, which limited expansion of our business intelligence capabilities and hampered employee productivity. And the hard numbers showed that the cost of leasing and maintaining our previous storage was directly cutting into our profits.

We needed to capitalize on the boom instead of struggle under its weight, and the key was data availability. To keep business buzzing along, we needed at least six-nines availability at a low cost, and we needed to implement a new disaster recovery solution. This was a top priority for 2013, and we were determined to find the best technology to keep us running as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

We looked at solutions from EMC, NetApp, HP and Dell – but EMC’s broad portfolio won out on both better performance and lower costs versus the competition. We’re an enterprise-class company. We required enterprise-class solutions…and EMC delivered.

With EMC we were able to:

  • Move our environment from 100% physical to 85% virtualized, while giving us the ability to become 100% virtualized. This move included Exchange, file server, print and Oracle, with VMAX 10K;
  • Boost performance by 33% over our legacy HP infrastructure with VMAX 10K;
  • Restore our VMware environment much more quickly in a disaster recovery scenario—RPO is now less than 20 seconds—than our former replication solution with RecoverPoint;
  • Use VNX as our storage workhorse, replicating from our core data center for disaster recovery purposes, providing peace of mind that our DR is environment is current, intact and reliable;
  • Add more capacity to our environment for less money with FAST VP, reducing monthly costs by 20%.

Individually, these are fantastic solutions—but together, they’re a quadruple threat, enabling us not only to handle the business we have today, but prepare for the business we’ll have tomorrow. Our partnership with EMC translates to success, plain and simple.

Jim Gross

Vice President of IT Operations at AAR Corp.

Latest posts by Jim Gross (see all)

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