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McGill U Selects Open Source Storage Solution

McGill University’s School of Computer Science – which runs almost exclusively on open source software –  has implemented an open source storage solution.

According to a prepared statement, the Canadian university purchased three storage appliances from iXsystem, the largest of which offers more than 1PB of storage. It previously had run Linux and BSD file servers to meet the school’s storage needs, but required a more centralized solution that could keep pace with data growth and be easily managed. The university asked iXsystems to present a TrueNAS solution that was scalable and met other specifications (flexibility, performance, protection, etc.). Other vendors that were considered included Dell, DDN Storage, Oracle and Nexsan.

"We selected iXsystems because of the robustness of the TrueNAS appliance platform as well as iXsystems' commitment to Open Source,” said Ron Simpson, operations supervisor at McGill, in a statement. “TrueNAS offered the best bang for the buck by a long shot, with 2.5x the amount of storage for the same dollar. We also liked the fact that iXsystems has direct access to FreeBSD developers, and its Support Team has been incredible in terms of hardware replacement, support and onsite visits.”

The systems team at McGill manages several highly specialized computing environments across campus that central IT doesn’t oversee. While the institution previously stored all of its data using direct access storage (DAS) on multiple devices, the TrueNAS systems consolidates storage, reducing administrative overhead “by drastically reducing the potential points of failure” for data storage, according to a case study about the implementation. Furthermore, the TrueNAS technology utilizes a ZFS-based file system to ensure data is protected and not lost.

To learn more about the open source storage solution, visit the iXsystem site.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].

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