“Of course, we would have preferred the performance boost of an all-flash platform,” said the IT director. “No one has ever asked me for less performance. But we assumed that an all solid-state storage array was beyond our budget. Thanks to QSAN that was no longer the case.”
The Iowa-based university was founded with the goal of providing highquality and values-based education. It has always kept its focus on earth, immigration, nonviolence, racism, and women, and preparing its students to work toward a more just, equal, and peaceful world. Today, the university has over 1,700 students and 237 full- and part-time faculty.
As a dynamic, mission-focused university, it must deliver a wide variety of applications to support its many course offerings. These include word processing, graphics, database, and spreadsheet systems, which faculty and students use to generate data every day. Additionally, administrators rely on managerial applications and a student information system for tracking the student body, all of which produced more data. Much of the data created on campus needs to be saved to support student work, research, and organizational and executive functions.
To meet its storage needs, this university had relied on four Dell EqualLogic PS hybrid storage systems at its on-campus data center, but they had aged over the years and were no longer as effective as they once were. The school needed a more contemporary replacement, but as a small university, its IT budget limited what it could spend on new systems.
Moreover, maintains a disaster-recovery site an hour away in the same city. There, the university relied on three Dell PS6210 arrays to store data replicated from the legacy storage systems. These solutions, which had been introduced years earlier, were also showing their age.
“We wanted to archive data for at least seven years, but the Dell PS6210 devices lacked the necessary capacity,” said the IT director. “As with our primary storage platforms in our data center, our budget was limited. We required systems that had the performance and scalability to keep pace with our data needs, but they also had to be economical to buy and own.”
The school replaced its four Dell EqualLogic PS storage systems with a single QSAN XCubeFAS XF2026D All-Flash Array with 26*7.6TB SSDs fully populated to support its production environment of applications and virtual machines. Also, QSAN XCubeSAN XS1212D populated with 12*12TB SAS HDDs was selected as the replacement of three legacy DR systems combined to offer more capacity and future expansion
“Of course, we would have preferred the performance boost of an all-flash platform,” said the IT director. “No one has ever asked me for less performance. But we assumed that an all solid-state storage array was beyond our budget. Thanks to QSAN, that was no longer the case.”
By replacing four devices with a single solution, the university also simplified management. “The QSAN XF2026D platform has been very reliable,” added the IT director. “It has its own web-based management system named XEVO. We simply log in and do what we need to do. We’re promptly alerted if there are ever any issues.”
The QSAN XF2026D platform also reduces ownership costs. The single device consumes less power to operate than the four systems it replaced. The cost-savings were compounded by the fact that the QSAN platform uses energy-efficient all flash drives, whereas the legacy devices were hybrid systems that still relied on spinning disks.
This IT director and his colleagues very much liked their QSAN platform and turned to QSAN to determine if it had a replacement solution for its disaster-recovery site. For its back-up system, the university’s priority was more on capacity than on processing power.
“QSAN proposed the XS1212D Array,” said the IT director. “The system provided more capacity than our three legacy DR systems combined, and like the QSAN XF2026D chassis, it definitely fit within our budget. By replacing three devices, the QSAN XS1212D Array simplified management and lowered ownership costs. Both QSAN platforms will meet the university’s needs for performance, functionality, reliability, and scalability for years to come.”