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Spalding Virtualizes SAN to Improve Capacity, Redundancy

Spalding University has virtualized its storage infrastructure to support 22 TB of data. The university is now running 30 virtual machines on 15 physical IBM 3650 servers, each running DataCore's SANsymphony-V storage hypervisor for storage, as well as VMware for both server and desktop virtualization.

The university had been using an IBM fiber channel storage area network (SAN) with 4 TB of capacity but needed to increase its storage capacity to support the university's rapidly increasing volume of data.

"We needed to perform significant upgrades to our storage environment and infrastructure so that it could support our growing school," said Ezra Krumhansl, director of information technology at Spalding, in a prepared statement.

Spalding chose to upgrade its IBM hardware and install DataCore SANsymphony-V hypervisor for storage because the up-front costs were lower than the costs of the alternatives and the solution was device-independent. The solution also enabled the university to virtualize its storage infrastructure while increasing capacity and redundancy.

The new primary and secondary mirrored systems are housed at a co-location facility a mile and a half from the university campus, using fiber channel connectivity.

"The biggest benefit we have realized with the DataCore storage hypervisor is replication--meaning synchronous, real-time mirroring and the virtualization of the backend storage environment," said Krumhansl in a prepared statement. "The data protection features definitely hit home. We don't worry about losing a hard drive or data because there is redundancy built in, in so far as our having two nodes and even having redundancy within them. The device independence also enables us to install, mix and match any server combination we choose, allowing us to leverage, where needed, the best features that each brand has to offer."

Spalding University is located in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, and serves more than 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students.

Further information about DataCore SANsymphony-V is available on the DataCore site.

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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