Bolton College enhances its data storage performance

Tegile Systems, the leading provider of flash-driven storage arrays for databases, virtualised servers and virtual desktop environments, has enabled Bolton College to enhance the performance of its data storage environment and consolidate its volumes freeing up half its existing capacity and future proofing it for the next five years.

Thanks to the data deduplication and inline compression technologies in Tegile’s flash-driven hybrid arrays, this customer has realised a 57 percent reduction in its storage requirements, from 43TB down to 19TB. This saving includes an impressive drop from 4TB to below 1TB of primary storage needed to support the college’s virtual desktop infrastructure.

At Bolton College the IT team is responsible for managing the infrastructure that supports the applications, databases and files created and accessed by 12,000 students and 500 staff, which are distributed across a VMware environment. This includes 450 virtual VDI desktops using VMware Horizon View. Prior to the deployment of the new system, the college systems were running on eight Dell EqualLogic storage arrays. Until the implementation of Tegile’s T3630 array, the customer’s growing data storage requirements were met by periodically adding arrays to the existing environment. This approach was inefficient as the data was spread across multiple SANs, making its management unnecessarily time-consuming and leading to higher power consumption as well as greater floor space requirements.

By the time the legacy storage at Bolton College had reached its end of life, it held approximately 43TB of unstructured raw data. Senior infrastructure engineer Irfan Patail and his team were keen to move to a solution that would simplify administration, consolidate data, and scale over the next five years.

Patail considered several vendors, including Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, NetApp and Nimble. He was introduced to Tegile by networking and IT solutions reseller NexStor. Patail selected Tegile based on its price advantage and outstanding technology. He was particularly impressed with the prospect of consolidating the college’s storage requirements on a hybrid and all-flash multi-tiered array. The flexibility of the Tegile T3630 system means that the college’s virtual desktop environment now benefits from the performance of all-flash storage, while the hybrid arrays provide more than the required capacity and performance for the general server workload. Using this tiered architecture, Bolton College is delivering the immediate storage needs well within the defined SLAs and has a solution that Patail believes will be scalable over a five-year project period to meet future demands.

“Our VMware VDI environment is currently running 450 VMs. With Tegile’s flash array we could easily double that figure without any impact on user experience and storage performance whatsoever, both in terms of IOPS and Latency. Additionally, from a capacity perspective we are seeing significant reduction in space through the compression and dedupe Tegile delivers. We are so confident in our Tegile system that, in addition to migrating all of our Virtual VMs from the old storage, we have also migrated footage from our 170 onsite CCTV cameras to the array’s spinning disks which would have led to serious IOPS and latency issues with our old Dell storage arrays,” said Patail.

The Tegile array is vendor agnostic and integrated seamlessly with the college’s new Fujitsu servers and VMware hypervisors and its single user interface has simplified administration.

The Tegile system took less than one day to rack, stack and configure. A further half day was used to provide a holistic training session including the GUI.

“This deployment demonstrates how our multi-tiered flash arrays can help organisations with complex and wide-ranging requirements to eliminate data silos, simplify data storage management and reduce costs,” said Paul Silver, VP Sales at Tegile.


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