University of Melbourne investigates unified storage

Offering could reduce costs and increase virtualization of data

Faced with aging storage equipment and looking to reduce costs, the University of Melbourne is evaluating a new unified storage system.

The offering, called Hitachi Unified Storage VM (HUS VM), is touted as a unified platform which provides virtualization for data types both inside and outside the storage system.

The university's storage services team leader, Niels Madsen, told Computerworld Australia that the university’s current Hitachi Data Systems universal storage platform (USPV) is now five years old.

In-depth: Storage virtualization buying guide.

If the university decides to implement HUS VM, Madsen said this will simplify the transition of its current virtualized environment while providing additional benefits including virtualization of any data type and improved storage performance.

According to Madsen, the university will no longer need an enterprise class fibre channel tier one storage if the implementation goes ahead.

“This is where the HUS VM is going to be quite attractive to us,” he said. “We’ve used the virtualization and thin provisioning features out of the USPV quite heavily so we want to retain that functionality if we can.”

He added that a big driver for the storage upgrade project is cost savings.

“Like most educational organisations, we are cost sensitive and the existing maintenance expenses for the USPV are quite significant.

“By moving to HUS VM we can still get the same benefits from virtualization and thin provisioning that we are currently getting but without the need for back end fibre channel disk.”

In addition, the storage upgrade could help the university’s storage team cope with data generated from high performance computing (HPC) projects that researchers are currently undertaking.

“We know that our storage needs for those researchers are also going to increase dramatically by petabytes.”

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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