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BYU Taps Mid-Tier Storage Array To Support Comp Sci Research

The Computer Science department at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, UT has deployed a new storage system to support its virtualized operating environment. The university chose Nexsan's SATABoy, a storage system intended for mid-tier deployments, for its computer science department, where researchers create vast volumes of data.

One such project includes a popular Facebook application called Relative Finder, created by several BYU computer science major students and Professor Tom Sederberg. The application runs on a virtual Web server and virtual MySQL server, which reside on the Nexsan storage hardware. Relative Finder allows users to search back an average of nine or 10 generations to locate relatives and to show relationships to famous people.

The storage array will support the department's VMware vSphere 4 environment. The set-up includes 1TB SATA drives. The SATA RAID storage system is connected to an HP BladeSystem c3000 enclosure with a dynamic mix of about 40 virtual machines.

"For us, reliability and reporting were important features in our storage system selection process," said Loren Harshbarger, the department's network architect and manager. Harshbarger had used Nexsan systems previously and said he was confident about their performance, features, and reliability. "What's more, the [storage platform] allows both iSCSI and fibre channel connectivity for our virtual computing infrastructure and features such as LUN masking for a secure multi-user environment. This makes the Nexsan solution exceptionally flexible for our multi-purpose storage requirements."

The SATABoy system allows the customer to combine SAS, SATA, and SSD disks in the same system for flexibility; it supports both fibre channel and iSCSI interfaces; and storage management of multiple RAID drives is handled through a single interface.

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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