George Washington University Runs on Nexenta Software Defined Storage

Top Ranked Medical Research Institution Improves Information Availability, Accuracy, and Security with Best Cost/Performance


SANTA CLARA, Calif. – March 5, 2015 — Nexenta (@Nexenta), the global leader in Open Source-driven Software-Defined Storage (OpenSDS), today announced the deployment of NexentaStor by George Washington University. The School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) is using NexentaStor to cost-effectively scale its storage capacity and ensure high availability and security of important data without requiring additional IT resources. Thanks to Nexenta, the university faculty have been able to focus on their efforts on research while minimizing the cost of procuring and managing storage. For example, the university was able to expand their existing Nexenta appliance by 16 TB for less than $7,000. 


Founded in 1824, George Washington University SMHS runs highly-ranked programs in the health and biomedical sciences. SMHS research and teaching activities depend on seamless access to state-of-the-art IT to carry out their cutting-edge investigations into areas like cancer, epilepsy and genomics and proteomics,. The IT group supports the school’s 1,500 staff and faculty by taking care of everything from desktop support and user training to managing server and storage resources, including web servers and computational clusters for genomics analysis.


Garrett Fields, Technical Support Analyst, was tasked with looking at alternatives to SMHS’s existing storage infrastructure. Until recently, the university data center housed SMHS’s group and home drives. The university didn’t charge researchers by the terabyte, but contained costs by putting a cap on the amount of storage they could use. As the school’s researchers generated more and more data, this arrangement became increasingly problematic. Researchers were turning to workarounds—such as setting up external hard drives in their labs, which compromised both data security and accessibility.


To address these challenges, SMHS’s IT team was looking for an Open Software-Defined Storage system that could offer greater accuracy as well as the freedom from lock-in to certain vendors or hardware. After evaluating three different solutions, SMHS’s IT team determined that Nexenta was the best choice. Built-in high availability, quality of support, depth of expertise and focus on storage along with open source benefits were the key factors that led SMHS’s IT team to select NexentaStor.


“We needed a better solution,” said Fields. “Our researchers were looking for huge amounts of storage, and we thought we could meet their needs more cost-effectively than the university data center. But we were only going to take on responsibility for storage provision if we could ensure excellent performance and extraordinary reliability, as we achieved cost savings.”


Thanks to the administrative ease of Nexenta, the SMHS IT group was able to take on its new storage responsibilities without adding staff. In addition, eliminating time spent managing and troubleshooting researchers’ external drives allows existing staff to focus on other important IT initiatives. Scaling up is also much more cost-effective -- when the group reached 70 percent capacity on its backup server, it was able to add 16 TB for less than $7,000.


SMHS researchers who used to rely on external hard drives now enjoy much greater data security, availability and ease of access. At the same time, there is no difference in performance for other users.


Stated SMHS’s Fields, “Thanks to Nexenta, we’ve managed to free our researchers from restrictions on their storage, so they can move full steam ahead on their research, confident that they’re capturing and safeguarding all the data their projects generate.”


"We are honored to help The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences increase security and maintain performance for researchers, faculty and students by transitioning to an SDS solution that offers the flexibility of being ableto increase storage capacity as data requirements grow and, at the same time, keep costs low,” said Tarkan Maner, Chairman and CEO at Nexenta. “With high availability from Nexenta, ensuring that SMHS data can be brought up in a relatively recent state, the university also has a practical disaster recovery plan in place and can now avoid risks to data integrity and reliability – which is crucial given the university’s important research.”


Please refer to The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) case study for more implementation details.


Tweet This: .@Nexenta great collaboration with the IT team at @GWU.  Check out our new case study at #softwaredefinedstorage


About Nexenta

Nexenta is the global leader in Open Source-driven Software-Defined Storage (OpenSDS) with 6,000+ customers, 1,000+ partners, 30+ patents, and more than 1,000 petabytes of storage under management. Nexenta uniquely integrates software-only “Open Source” collaboration with commodity hardware-centric “Software-Defined Storage” innovation. Nexenta OpenSDS solutions are 100% software-based; and 100% hardware-, protocol-, and app-agnostic providing organizations with Total Freedom protecting them against punitive vendor lock-in. Nexenta provides organizations with the "true" benefits of Software-Defined Everything-centric Cloud Computing – from data centers to end users; from the infrastructure to apps. Nexenta OpenSDS enables everyday apps from rich media-driven Social Living to Mobility; from the Internet of Things to Big Data; from OpenStack and CloudStack to Do-It-Yourself Cloud deployments – for all types of Clouds – Private, Public, and Hybrid. Founded around an "Open Source” platform and industry-disrupting vision, Nexenta delivers its award- and patent-winning software-only unified storage management solutions with a global partner network, including Cisco, Citrix, Dell, HP, Quanta, SanDisk, Seagate, Supermicro, VMware, Western Digital, Wipro, and many others. 


For more information, visit, www.nexenta.comTwitterFacebookLinkedIn and YouTube. Also, download the newly published Nexenta Special Edition Software Defined Data Centers (SDDC) for Dummies eBook.



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