Big science creates big storage needs: Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University relies on DataCore

Big Data is a popular topic these days, impacting an ever-increasing number of organizations. But academic research institutions, such as the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, have been dealing with the IT requirements of truly big data for years. What can the rest of us learn from their experience?

With 350,000 square feet of research space and a 500+ user community, the Institute is well accustomed to dealing with huge amounts of data that must be available for long periods of time. Scott LeComte, senior IT manager at ASU’s Biodesign Institute, identified three facets to the data storage challenge: performance, availability, and capacity management. DataCore SANsymphony™ met the need in all three areas.

Lessons learned at ASU include:

  • Thin provisioning via DataCore’s virtual disks ensures that storage capacity supply meets actual demand. “Most of the users’ applications only use a tiny fraction of what they think they require,” LeComte explained. “DataCore’s approach has been very helpful in terms of cost efficiency.”
  • A software-based virtual storage architecture allows ASU to mix and match storage hardware, repurposing older equipment and slashing their storage cost from $2,500 per TB to $1,000. At large scale, the savings really add up.
  • DataCore’s two-node synchronously mirrored deployment has virtually eliminated both planned and unplanned downtime – a key requirement in the research environment.

We are very pleased with just how seamless and non-disruptive the solution has been…

“When we first got DataCore, it was just amazing how easily it fit into our environment,” LeComte said. “The way it has opened up opportunities for significant cost savings is a really big deal for a state-supported institution like Arizona State University. We are very pleased with just how seamless and non-disruptive the solution has been, and its flexibility has proven itself time and time again.”

Read the full story here.


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