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University of Toronto Deploys OpenSDS Platform

The University of Toronto has implemented an open source-driven software defined storage (OpenSDS) platform to support its server virtualization, network storage and centralized data backup systems.

The university serves more than 84,000 students and 19,000 faculty and staff across three campuses. The Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) department plans and manages all of the university's enterprise-level hardware, systems and network infrastructure, which is located in a central administrative data center and serves all three campuses.

The EIS team was looking for a standard storage area network (SAN) solution to support all of its enterprise services and any other departments at the university. Some of the decision makers were initially drawn to big brand names because they felt like a safe bet, but the team eventually settled on the NexentaStor with the NexentaStor high availability (HA) plugin.

"Our decision to go with Nexenta will have saved the university around $9 million over a five-year period," said Patrick Hopewell, director of the EIS department, in a prepared statement. "Other storage vendors were more than three times what we ultimately negotiated with Nexenta and yet the functionality was basically the same."

The EIS team worked closely with Nexenta's engineering team to implement the system for the university's data center and its disaster recovery solution. The NexentaStor system integrates with the university's VMware vSphere 5.5 system running on Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) hardware. According to a press release from Nexenta, "there are now more than a thousand virtual machines running in the data center, with around three petabytes of raw storage provisioned in Nexenta. All of this is now running on commodity hardware, which has been optimized by joint efforts between Nexenta and the university."

About the Author

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

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