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U Sussex Adopts Software-Defined Storage

The University of Sussex in the United Kingdom has implemented a new software-defined storage system to improve network performance and support future expansion of its IT infrastructure.

The University of Sussex is a single-campus university serving 13,000 students and employing 2,100 faculty and staff. Students, faculty and staff each have their own home directory on the network that enables them to access their files from any device anywhere on campus. However, when the university's five-year-old network storage system was approaching the end of its useful life, the IT department started looking at its options.

The team considered sticking with the same vendor but also looked at alternatives before deciding to switch to NexentaStor from Nexenta. According to James Goodlet, head of infrastructure services, IT services at the university, the team chose NexentaStor because of the company's thorough customer support throughout the evaluation process, in addition to the product's cost-effectiveness.

NexentaStor is a software-defined storage (SDS) platform. It runs on industry-standard hardware and can support implementations from tens of terabytes to petabytes of data. Along with NexentaStor, the University of Sussex also implemented Dell PowerEdge R720 rack servers with SAS HBA cards and solid state disks. According to information on Nexenta's site, "the university has two data centers with 200 physical servers and 200 virtual ones," and both sites "are clustered with tiered storage using SAS hard drives and SSDs with 110 TB of capacity each." The university replicates its primary data center to the secondary site on an hourly basis.

To support its growing research data warehouse, the university is planning to expand its implementation of NexentaStor to include another 200 TB for high availability storage.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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