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Tech Insight Silicon Mechanics Helps OpenDNS Deliver Web Security to Millions

Seagate hard drives, Silicon Mechanics customized rackmount servers, and OpenDNS web security equal best-fit customer solutions.

When Internet-security company OpenDNS needed hundreds of custom-configured servers with vast storage capacity, it turned to Silicon Mechanics, a provider of custom-built servers, storage and computing clusters. In turn, Silicon Mechanics looked to Seagate when it needed hundreds of reliable, high-capacity enterprise drives.

OpenDNS boasts over 30 million users and handles approximately 32 billion DNS (domain name system) queries a day. The San Francisco-based company initially gained notoriety for its superior speed, handling DNS queries far faster than DNS servers used by most Internet service providers. Now, it’s also noted for best-in-class web security and content filtering that protects against malware, phishing and other online security threats, as well as selective traffic blocking to undesirable sites.

“Many of our customers have us store their networks’ DNS traffic data for analytics and security purposes,” explains George Patterson, director of operations at OpenDNS. “So we need lots of reliable storage that’s fast to access. Because of how our storage and reporting services are built, with lots of servers holding lots of hard drives, the performance and reliability of each drive is paramount in building a system that delivers a high-performance solution with the utmost reliability.”

Seagate’s 3TB Constellation® ES.2 enterprise drives—the industry’s highest-capacity drives for sustaining demanding data growth—more than met the technical requirements of the job. The drives satisfy regulatory data-security requirements and have the lowest power consumption of any 3TB drive on the market, which helps save energy costs.

Seagate’s engineering support and customer service also impressed Silicon Mechanics.

“It wasn’t just the specific strengths of the Constellation ES.2 drives that convinced us,” says Shane Huntress, inside sales team manager at the Bothell, Washington-based Silicon Mechanics. “Seagate excels on everything else, too. As far as reliability and channel support, Seagate is really good to us. We definitely prefer them for those reasons, as well as price, availabilities, all the things that matter to the channel.”

Currently, Seagate supplies Silicon Mechanics with 80 percent of their drives.

“It’s been a great partnership, a supportive two-way street,” said Louise Weidner, a senior sales representative at Seagate. “They support us through loyalty, and we provide them with great engineering support and high-quality products, and we are always open and honest. They know what to expect from us because we’re upfront with good news, as well as bad. That’s earned Seagate a strong reputation with this account.”

To read more about the Seagate and Silicon Mechanics solution, check out the full case study.

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-- By Lori Johnson

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