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U Northwestern – St. Paul Upgrades Storage

University of Northwestern — St. Paul has implemented a new storage system using flash arrays to support its virtualized environment.

The university had been experiencing reliability issues with its existing storage system as it neared the end of its service lifecycle, so the IT staff began looking for a replacement system that could provide additional functionality without exceeding the university's limited budget. Initially the team considered replacing its existing system with a newer one from the same vendor, but they ruled out that option because it proved too expensive and didn't fulfill their wish list of features.

They were looking for a storage system that offered both iSCSI and fiber channel, compression and deduplication data optimization, and replication to a disaster recovery site, and that could do it all within the school's budget. After checking out their options, the team selected Intelligent Flash Arrays from Tegile Systems, a provider of flash-driven storage arrays for databases, virtualized server and virtual desktop environments.

According to information from the company, the storage system met the university's requirements and enabled them to add a storage area network (SAN) at their disaster recovery site, while saving the university $35,000 per year on support and nearly $200,000 on total cost of ownership over the university's previous storage system. The new system also enabled the university to reduce its floor space requirements by 75 percent, cut energy costs, improve virtual machine boot times by as much as 20 percent, and use inline deduplication and compression to reduce the amount of managed data by 40 percent.

University of Northwestern — St. Paul is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts university serving more than 3,300 students in Roseville and Arden Hills, MN.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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