The REA Group goes Global with EMC Information Infrastructure Solutions
Global Real Estate Media Company Retakes Control Over Fast-Growing Databases of Property Listings by Reducing Online Storage Needs Over 250 Percent.
EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC), the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, today announced that Australia-based the REA Group, which provides real estate Web sites and services in eight countries, has implemented EMC storage, software and services to manage the vast amount of data generated by its online property listings more cost-effectively and with greater reliability.
Chris Vulovic, the REA Group’s Chief Information Officer, said, “Our vision is to become the leading provider of online real estate advertising in the world. In the last 24 months we’ve gone from one Web site in one country to 15 websites in eight countries. EMC gave us a solid IT infrastructure to reduce our technology and management costs and help us scale our operations to a global level.”
Andrew Humphrey, IT Manager at the REA Group, added, “We were adding a terabyte of storage every six months due to our business growth and expanding databases that store massive image files of the properties that we post on our Web sites. Not only was this very expensive, but we were also manually backing up four terabytes of data to a tape library every night. This took us 36 hours to do a backup, which put a great deal of stress on our Web sites and raised concerns about how long it would take to recover from an outage.”
To retake control over spiraling IT costs, the REA Group deployed EMC Centera™ content-addressed storage with EMC DiskXtender® and EMC EmailXtender® software to archive files, email and images older than six months from the company’s EMC CLARiiON® production storage and servers. EMC software compresses and migrates aged email messages to Centera, removing duplicate messages and attachments in the process, which has significantly reduced storage needs.
“The EMC process compares files so we don’t backup the same image 10,000 times,” said Humphrey. “By intelligently archiving and reducing data duplication, we decreased the amount of material we needed to host online by 70 percent. We now store about four terabytes of data, but that would be about eight terabytes without EMC Centera."
The REA Group also implemented EMC Captiva™ and EMC Documentum® enterprise content management software to digitize and store its paper-based files, as well as faxes and other electronic data sources on EMC CLARiiON® storage for easier retrieval.
“We had an entire room full of paper contracts and it was taking us so long to locate the files we needed that we faced the prospect of being unable to meet our contractual obligations in the future,” shared Vulovic. “With EMC handling the digitized repository, we now retrieve critical files in a matter of seconds. We’ve also been able grow our operations from 80 people to more than 400 today over past three years, without adding additional IT staff. That’s a huge savings.”
In addition, the REA Group has deployed an array of other EMC software solutions to further improve availability of its Web sites and information assets. EMC SnapView™, for example, creates a copy of databases to use for testing, restore and recovery operations. With EMC RepliStor®, Microsoft Windows-specific company data is replicated to a remote data center for offline backup protection, disaster recovery, data distribution and application testing.
“The EMC solution was never just about storage,” said Vulovic. “EMC is a crucial partner in helping us design, implement and manage our information infrastructure for optimal data availability, security and risk containment. EMC is 100 percent focused on helping us manage all aspects of our corporate information from creation to deletion in the most cost-effective way. We have a strong business plan and EMC is providing us with the infrastructure and software we need to implement it successfully.”
The REA Group (realestate.com.au Ltd. and its subsidiary companies, ASX:REA) is the only truly global online real estate advertising company. Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, the company had revenues of AUD$61m in FY 2006, serves more than 12,000 real estate agents and approximately 7 million unique visitors per month (April 2007, Nielsen//NetRatings, Omniture), is profitable and has a current market capitalization of more than A$700m. As a listed company, realestate.com.au Ltd operates as an independent entity. Visit www.rea-group.com.
EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) is the world’s leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organizations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information. Information about EMC's products and services can be found at www.EMC.com.