Virtualization

U Maryland Implements Storage Array for Virtual Infrastructure

The University of Maryland's Department of Transportation Services has implemented a high-performance storage array to support its new virtual infrastructure.

The department manages services such as campus parking and the Shuttle-UM transit service, and it has been implementing technology solutions to streamline the management of those services. One of those technology solutions is a virtual parking permit system that uses vehicle license plates as parking permits. Parking enforcement vehicles equipped with license plate recognition cameras scan the plates to ensure vehicles are parked in their permitted lots.

The University of Maryland DOTS recently virtualized 90 percent of its infrastructure with 17 VMware ESX virtual servers and it uses the virtual servers, along with two physical HP servers and several Microsoft SQL databases to support its virtual parking permit system, network shares, website, applications and other systems.

These systems require significant storage capacity and performance. The department was using a storage area network (SAN) solution, but the staff found the user interface difficult to use, and as the department's data storage requirements grew, it needed a more cost-efficient solution to increase its storage capacity. In its search for a new storage solution, the IT team's wish list of features included tiered storage, data deduplication and archiving, innovative data replication and WAN (wide area network) optimization, as well as an easy-to-use interface.

The team selected the StorTrends Dual Controller iSCSI SAN to replace its legacy SAN. The department has already migrated its LUNS virtual machines to the StorTrends solution with the help of the solutions ManageTrends user interface and its VMware plugin, and according to the company, the system has delivered "exceptional processing speeds" with CPU and memory to spare.

The IT team aims to complete its transformation to a fully virtualized infrastructure in the near future, and as part of that process, the department plans to implement more StorTrends storage arrays to support its secondary disaster recovery 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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