Deakin University cuts storage costs by 40 per cent

University sees benefits from storage upgrade

New storage arrays with support for in-line compression have helped Deakin University cut storage capital costs by 40 per cent.

The university in October 2013 rolled out six Nimble Storage CS460G-X2 arrays at two data centres located on the Burwood and Geelong campuses, giving it a total of 326 terabytes storage.

Deakin University systems team leader Ryan Parker-Hill said the arrays are easy to manage.

Using Nimble replication, staff implemented disaster recovery capabilities for all of the university's databases and a large number of virtual machines (VMs).

“There are around 1000 VMs running everything from Oracle databases for our human resources [HR] applications to Web servers,” Parker-Hill said.

The IT department shifted the University’s storage network from fibre channel to iSCSI.

“Our fibre channel network was based around two Cisco storage products which had been running for about seven years. We had replaced the components but the products had reached the point where they were reaching end of life," Parker-Hill said.

The cloud

Director of infrastructure services Craig Warren said that the university performaed a cost comparison between physical storage and cloud computing.

“What we discovered was that acquiring storage was still significantly cheaper than going to a cloud-based service,” said Warren.

“A lot of the cloud providers are still establishing Australian presences so things like latency can become an issue for databases.”

However, Warren said it would continue to look at cloud computing on a case-by-case basis in the future.

“In migrating to the new storage platform, we were able to do that without any real downtime and we haven’t had any events that affected availability since we migrated,” he said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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