Press Release

Thunderbird School of Global Management Meets Key VMware, Metro-Clustering and IT Cost Challenges with DataCore Software-Defined Storage

DataCore Delivers “Excellent” Marks for Reducing Storage Costs, Increasing Performance and Extending the Useful Life of NetApp and Existing Storage Investments

September 03, 2014 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

GLENDALE, Ariz. & FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — DataCore, a leader in software-defined storage, today announced that Thunderbird School of Global Management, the oldest and largest graduate school for international business in the USA, has overcome its most pressing IT challenge – a dependence on expensive hardware – with a flexible software-defined storage architecture made possible by DataCore SANsymphony-V.

“Due to the software-defined storage approach of DataCore’s SANsymphony-V, we are free to choose any hardware and no longer locked-in to a storage vendor, which gives us greater purchasing power,” said Johan Reinalda, senior director network infrastructure and support services, Thunderbird School of Global Management. “This solution has allowed us to take a cost-effective approach when addressing our storage need. Additionally, functionality such as DataCore’s auto-tiering and self-tuning capabilities has led to performance increases in improving response times to VM within our VMware environment.”

No Dependence on Expensive Hardware – with Software-Defined Storage from DataCore

Thunderbird faced the IT challenge of being dependent on aging SAN controller infrastructure from NetApp, as well as various storage devices that were facing “end of life.” The school’s IT organization also sought to open up its purchasing options and free itself from this hardware and system vendor lock-in. Data storage growth rates were high and rising– so there was also the need to cost-effectively deal with the challenges of increasing growth and need for more capacity.

The institution was looking for a way to avoid the high cost of upgrading under its existing NetApp solution, which was deployed as a metro-cluster. Thunderbird wanted to protect its existing investment and therefore still has NetApp running, however, IT has been able to modernize its overall storage and has moved all mission-critical storage to a software-based DataCore SANsymphony-V storage virtualization platform. In fact, the DataCore implementation cost was only a fraction of what Thunderbird would have spent for the upgrade path from the incumbent vendor.

“We saved 60 percent on our storage upgrade – based on the quote from our original vendor, NetApp,” explained Reinalda. “We replaced all parts of the SAN – a total revamp, including disks, whereas the previous vendor option was to replace mostly the controllers. This was the overwhelming reason we went the DataCore route – that and no vendor lock-in for storage.”

Realizing the Benefits & Eliminating Downtime: Defining Storage Its Own Way at Thunderbird

In addition to a whopping 60 percent cost savings relative to the entrenched SAN vendor, the agility and flexibility the IT staff now has through DataCore – as far as scaling and expanding its infrastructure to best meet the organization’s needs – is now the norm at Thunderbird. For instance, system administrators can now add multi-vendor storage behind SANsymphony-V and have a single unified management interface.

The IT department is reporting a three to four times performance increase in response times of the storage for its virtual machines (VMs). Thunderbird is not using high-end storage behind SANsymphony-V, but they are using DataCore’s auto-tiering feature along with solid state disks (SSDs). The institution has embraced a high availability (HA) implementation in which SANsymphony-V is synchronously mirrored across two different data centers that are metro-clustered across the campus and as a result the IT team can perform upgrades without any downtime to its VMware “internal could” environment.

Reinalda emphasized that DataCore has ushered in a new day as far as making its storage infrastructure more resilient through storage that is software-defined. “The HA environment means better uptime. We have experienced no downtime in the six months we have been ‘live’ with SANsymphony-V,” he noted.

A complete case study concerning the DataCore deployment at Thunderbird School of Global Management is available here:

About Thunderbird School of Global Management

Thunderbird is the world’s No.1-ranked school of international business with nearly 70 years of experience in developing leaders with the global mindset, business skills and social responsibility necessary to create real, sustainable value for their organizations, communities and the world. Thunderbird was the first graduate business school to adopt a Professional Oath of Honor and boasts a global alumni network of 40,000 graduates in 148 nations worldwide. The school is sought out by students, professionals and companies seeking to gain the skills necessary for success in today’s global economy. For more about Thunderbird, visit

DataCore is a leader in software-defined storage. The company’s storage virtualization and virtual SAN solutions empower organizations to seamlessly manage and scale their data storage architectures, delivering massive performance gains at a fraction of the cost of solutions offered by legacy storage hardware vendors. Backed by 10,000 customer sites around the world, DataCore’s adaptive and self-learning and healing technology takes the pain out of manual processes and helps deliver on the promise of the new software defined data center through its hardware agnostic architecture.

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Horn Group on behalf of DataCore
Elliot Schimel, 646-202-9768