Business Continuity and Backup

By Cindy Waxer  |  Posted 2006-03-13 Print this article Print

Benefits"> But the price tag isnt the only metric for evaluating the benefits of iSCSI. Whereas the introduction of Fibre Channel often calls for extensive on-site training, NCCUs IT staff was already skilled in Ethernet, thereby enabling business continuity in the midst of an extensive storage system overhaul.
Even more important, NCCUs storage system has been able to provide the university with a backup and recovery system to prevent the loss of data.
While NCCUs ERP system had its own backup, Marrow said the university was running out of space on a daily basis for backing up e-mail and other applications. As a result, the backup process often called for the temporary halting of select systems, as well waiting until the evening to perform necessary backup functions. That has all changed with NCCUs new storage system, according to Marrow. Instead, EqualLogics iSCSI storage arrays offer backup and recovery capabilities and remote replication built into the product at no additional cost. Data is automatically replicated straight over the universitys Ethernet to a remote site. "When were replicating, were keeping a live copy of our data so that, in the event that we lose our systems here on campus, we can recover that data quickly, almost in real time," Marrow said. Whats more, Marrow said NCCU no longer needs to endure system downtime and interrupted information flow during the evening hours to back up important data. "Thats critical, particularly because classes now can go up to about 6 p.m. With our distance education program, we absolutely have to offer system availability for our students for longer times now," Marrow said. But its NCCUs ERP system that stands to benefit the most from the universitys new and improved storage infrastructure. With its plentiful storage capacity, ease of use and cost efficiencies, the iSCSI SAN allows for the deployment of a new version of SCT Banner. This upgrade will enable the university to use an integrated Oracle database running on a Unix platform to share information, instead of having student information, finance, financial aid, human resources and other key applications run separately. Just one more reason iSCSI is earning top marks from NCCUs much-relieved IT team. Cindy Waxer is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Contact her at Case file
  • Customer North Carolina Central University
  • Location Durham
  • Organizational snapshot NCCU is a liberal arts institution with 8,200 students pursuing undergraduate degrees in more than 100 disciplines and graduate degrees in more than 40; faculty and staff number approximately 1,600
  • Business need Confronted with an increase in student enrollments, a scattered network of servers and a desperate need to upgrade its ERP system, NCCU sought a cost- effective and easy-to-implement storage solution that could stop server proliferation and build a high-performance SAN for all applications
  • Technology partner VeriStor Systems
  • Recommended solution NCCU chose EqualLogics iSCSI SAN solution; two PS200Es iSCSI arrays run in its data center, while a third operates at a disaster recovery site 15 miles away; six more arrays have been purchased so far—one for the remote site and five that will be used for other applications to add capacity over time Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and small business storage hardware and software.


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