With more than 900 pupils, Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Faversham has an outstanding reputation for providing first-rate education. The school recently was struck with the common issue of effectively storing increasingly growing amounts of data. The school’s aging Intel SAN storage solution was rapidly reaching capacity and, as a result, was slowing down and not providing the performance required.
As the Intel solution was unsuitable for expansion, the school’s IT Network Manager, Dave Munro, reached the decision that the storage infrastructure required an upgrade. Under pressure to make the most out of the school’s allocated IT budget, Mr Munro enlisted the help of high performance computing specialists VA Technologies. The aim was to find a flexible and reliable storage solution at a competitive price. After evaluating a range of solutions, Mr Munro implemented two NexentaStor solutions with the advice and guidance provided by VA Technologies.
Dave Munro explains: “Nexenta’s OpenStorage solution is a clear example of value for money. The solution provides us with enterprise-class features, including hybrid storage pooling, unlimited snapshots, deduplication, and thin provisioning but at half of the price of other traditional storage vendors. The impressive features set also is complimented by its flexibility, is extremely adaptable, and easily can grow with us in the future.”
Two 12TB SANs provide the academy with a total of 24TB of raw storage capacity. NexentaStor is used to support the entire VMware infrastructure; the first SAN unit connects to three VMware host servers via fast 10GB SFP+ direct attached cables. This system acts as an ESXi data store using NFS, and the need for extra fileservers also is eliminated as it directly provides CIFS shares. In addition, this unit snapshots data at regular intervals throughout the day, allowing data to be effectively recovered by the schools IT Department when required. The snapshots are synchronised with the second 12TB SAN, which is stored in a separate location on site, providing a comprehensive data protection structure.
Dave Munro concludes, “By selecting Nexenta, we have increased the speed and performance of our IT infrastructure dramatically. Nexenta was significantly cheaper than any other storage solution. Automated email alerts provided by the NexentaStor system, combined with its straightforward usability, means that we have saved ourselves significant amounts of management time. The initial advantages of the Open Source unified storage solution are clear, and the team at Queen Elizabeth’s are confident that its flexibility will ensure that these benefits are continued into the future.”
Evan Powell, CEO of Nexenta. “Nexenta helps to make virtual machine management easier, as no other approach to storage can match the scale and flexibility of the commercially supported OpenStorage-based NexentaStor. It is a viable alternative to traditional legacy storage vendors and provides the peace of mind and data protection that Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School requires.”