Vic university aims for storage consolidation

Deakin University hopes to triple its IT storage capacity with a “business-critical” project to consolidate its data storage and data management systems.

With an enrolment of more than 30,000 students across its six Victorian campuses, the university has created an application to handle its student records, which were previously dispersed over many storage systems.

The university has already adopted a centrally managed storage consolidation strategy, allowing the university to reduce costs of managing data, make data highly available to teachers and students, and creating an efficient storage platform to handle application such as the development of an e-learning portal, e-mail and Web serving.

Deakin University is working with IBM and Cisco Systems, following the announcement in January 2003 that IBM will resell the Cisco MDS 9000 Series of multilayer directors and fabric switches.

Deakin has deployed two Cisco MDS 9509 multilayer directors with IBM’s Total Storage Enterprise Storage Server (ESS) 800 Turbo, which is capable of holding 55.9TB. Deakin has initially deployed 30TB.

According to Cisco, the combined storage system will be one of the largest in Australia in terms of data capacity.

Richard Tan, Deakin University’s director of IT, said the university has a “trusted relationship with both IBM an Cisco” going back several years.

“By combining to deliver high-performance, scalable and manageable SAN solutions, IBM and Cisco have allowed us to achieve a business-critical consolidation, while providing us with a lower total cost of ownership advantage and justifiable return on investment,” Tan said.

Deakin will also use virtual storage-area networks (vSAN) technology available on the Cisco MDS 9509, which will allow Deakin to manage one single, physical, storage network that maintains the advantages of security and access control of separate SAN “islands”. Deakin plans to expand and extend access to this SAN to more of its servers, in the future, using the multiprotocol capabilities of the Cisco MDS 9509.

Deakin plans to use Small Computer System Interface over IP (iSCSI) to allow low to mid-range servers and applications to connect to its SAN while using Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) for remote-connectivity and disaster-recovery applications.

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