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Earlham College Expands Storage for File Access, Backup

Earlham College in Richmond, IN has tripled its storage capacity by expanding its use of Nexenta Systems' unified storage. NexentaStor runs on ZFS, a Sun Microsystems open source high-capacity file system and logical volume manager that's also included in Sun's Solaris operating system.

"We initially used NexentaStor on Sun x4500 Thumper servers for primary storage for home directories," said Randy Schultz, lead systems administrator. "In the course of a year we have seen the system perform extremely well while additional capabilities and features were added at no additional cost from Nexenta. We recently added more NexentaStor-based systems and are now using NexentaStor for replication and disaster recovery and have repurposed our initial systems to use Nexenta's excellent desktop backup capabilities. We're extremely happy with the price/performance and with the ease of use."

The college is using the storage system for the purposes of site-to-site replication, shared Windows and Linux file access, and desktop backup through a new module called Deloreon.

As part of its contract with the vendor, Earlham has also had its implementation of the storage system updated. That included an upgrade to NexentaStor version 2.0, introduced in June 2009. "Every single upgrade has been completely trouble-free, which is the first time I can say that about any system I have managed," Schultz said.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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