Press Release

EMC Helps Cancer Research UK Accelerate IT Performance

Charity Increases Storage Performance by 30%, Accelerates Backup Systems and Improves IT Experience for 3,500 users with EMC Solutions

LONDON, UK , September 27, 2012 - 

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) today announced that Cancer Research UK (CRUK), the world’s leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research, has transformed its IT infrastructure and deployed its private cloud with EMC® technologies and VMware virtualisation and cloud infrastructure technologies. Cancer Research UK’s IT staff are now able to provide its 3,500 employees with faster, more reliable access to the supporter data, donor databases and mission-critical applications on which fundraising and marketing activities depend.

CRUK is using EMC Data Domain® deduplication storage systems, EMCNetWorker® unified backup and recovery software and EMC VNX® unified storage, as well as VMware vSphere for its virtualised applications, including Siebel, Oracle, Microsoft SQL and Citrix XenDesktop for over 1,200 virtual desktops.

Customer Benefits:

  • Increased Performance– Since moving to a FLASH 1st strategy with VNX, CRUK’s storage performance has improved by 30% enabling its employees to complete simple tasks like opening emails instantly, and improve virtual desktop boot storm performance.  
  • Improved Efficiency – CRUK has improved storage utilisation by 30%, making it possible for the charity to scale to accommodate its 30% yearly data growth while sustaining high performance and staying within budget.
  • Improved Backup and Disaster Recovery Capabilities CRUK has substantially reduced the cost of and time spent on data backup and disaster recovery with its highly automated Data Domain and NetWorker solution.
  • Return on Investment — CRUK expects its EMC backup and recovery solution to pay for itself in 18 months.

Customer Challenges and Solutions:

Cancer Research UK’s legacy storage environment was no longer providing adequate capacity and system performance, putting unnecessary pressure on  the charity’s IT staff and resources. CRUK employees experienced delays in their requests, ranging from simply accessing emails to complex database queries used by marketing and event managers to drive fundraising. These delays and processes were not allowing the organisation to maximize its resources and help staff deliver key activities including raising funds for world-class research into all aspects of cancer, providing information, and influencing public policy.

As part of its IT transformation, CRUK turned to partner CAE to recommend technologies that would better support the charity’s IT operations by providing faster, more reliable access to data and mission-critical applications for its 3,500 employees. CRUK selected EMC for both its storage and backup and recovery needs.

  • More Cost-Effective Backup and Recovery – CRUK selected an integrated EMC backup and recovery solution featuring EMC Data Domain and EMC NetWorker to protect approximately 200 terabytes of critical block and file data, including 480 Windows and 300 Linux virtual machines. Working with CAE, CRUK deployed the EMC solutions at CRUK’s two co-location data centres. The primary data centre stores vital operating data, runs mission-critical applications, and supports 1200 thin client terminals operated by the CRUK staff. The secondary data centre supports test and development of data and applications. Accurate and reliable local backups protect both sites and backups are replicated between Data Domain systems for disaster recovery. Data Domain and NetWorker have enabled CRUK to substantially reduce the cost of and time spent on data backup. The charity has simplified backup and recovery management with NetWorker while significantly reducing its daily backup and recovery timing with Data Domain.  CRUK expects its EMC backup solution to pay for itself within 18 months.
  • Higher Performing Storage – CRUK selected VNX unified storage running EMC’s FAST™ Suite and Total Protection Pack to replace its legacy storage solution. CRUK has implemented a FLASH 1st strategy in its unified storage environment, using the FAST Suite and enterprise Flash drives to achieve a 30% performance improvement. CRUK automatically tiers “hot” or active data to Flash, while tiering less active data onto cost-effective, high capacity drives. CRUK plans to implement EMC VFCache, a server flash cache solution, to further boost system performance and provide faster access to its CRM solutions on Oracle for its marketing department. CRUK’s choice of EMC unified storage with the Total Protection Pack has also helped provide better protection for the organization’s fundraising data using EMC RecoverPoint.

Customer Quote:

Michael Briggs, Head of Infrastructure, Cancer Research UK

“As an IT department, our job is to provide our internal ‘customers’ with the reliable and efficient systems they need to work towards delivering Cancer Research UK’s vision to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured, but we were facing significant performance issues.  Our previous IT infrastructure didn’t have the necessary storage processing power or flexibility to handle our growing data demands and the resulting delays that our users were experiencing were something we just couldn’t afford. With CAE’s help, we decided to transform our IT infrastructure using EMC technologies and began seeing the benefits straight away; both in terms of an immediate performance improvement and a reduction in backup time and cost.”

On More Cost-effective Backup and Recovery:

“Our staff have been delighted by the ease-of-use and scalability of Data Domain and NetWorker. The cost of our EMC backup solution means that we will break even within 18 months, compared with the cost of the older managed service. In addition, we can back up all mission-critical applications and data, as well as testing and development data, with a very small footprint. Deciding on the EMC backup solution was a no-brainer.”

“If data and applications are corrupted or unavailable, and if backups are not accurate, our IT capabilities could be compromised. We are not the scientists doing the research, however everything we do is to ensure funding gets to those scientists so they can carry out their life-saving research. We take that very seriously and work to make our systems as reliable as possible to ensure we deliver the best possible systems for the organisation. Our EMC-powered infrastructure with EMC Data Domain, and NetWorker and VNX unified storage make that possible.”

On Higher Performing Storage:

“Our EMC VNX with FAST Suite implementation began to pay for itself immediately thanks to faster performance and higher data availability. We can get more processing power spread out over a smaller number of disks, cost-effectively.”

“We’ll be using VNX and VFCache for our CRM solutions to provide high levels of data availability to our marketing teams,” Briggs explains. “We will transfer Oracle load caching and re-do logs to Dedicated Flash drives on the VNX. We plan to deploy VFCache in native mode with application acceleration. As a Flash RAM, we’ll plug this high IOPS card into a server, and it will act like a high performance expansion card. Working with FAST, it will hold hot traffic for high availability, yielding near-zero latency. We have just pressed the button on VFCache, and even in early testing we are seeing significant performance improvements.”

Additional Resources:

About EMC

EMC Corporation is a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service. Fundamental to this transformation is cloud computing. Through innovative products and services, EMC accelerates the journey to cloud computing, helping IT departments to store, manage, protect and analyze their most valuable asset — information — in a more agile, trusted and cost-efficient way. Additional information about EMC can be found at

Press Contacts

Matthew Buckley
+44 20 8758 5603

Kim Ireland
Cancer Research UK
+44 20 3469 8320

EMC, Data Domain, NetWorker and VNX are either registered trademarks or trademarks of EMC Corporation in the United States and other countries. VMware is a registered trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.