Leading University Embraces Cloud Computing With Nexenta Software-Defined Storage

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nexenta (@Nexenta), the global leader in Software-Defined Storage (SDS) (#softwaredefinedstorage), today announced the deployment and case study for Northern Arizona University.

“We kept adding more storage at more cost where the controllers were already having a hard time keeping up, but it felt more like triage than a real solution. We needed to change the way we thought about storage in order to break out of this cycle.”

With a main campus in Flagstaff, NAU accommodates more than 20,000 students, with an additional 7,000 students enrolled in NAU’s 36 extended campuses throughout the state of Arizona. Originally founded in 1899, NAU offers 87 bachelor degree programs, 48 master’s degree programs and 10 doctoral degree programs, along with 38 undergraduate and 26 graduate certificates.

Duane Booher, Software Systems Engineer Senior, and Tobias Kreidl, Academic Team Lead are part of NAU's centralized Information Technology Services (ITS) Department. As NAU’s academic computing virtualization needs grew, the strain on storage capacity began to manifest itself campus-wide in a variety of ways; one issue was slow user response times due to high I/O latency. The NAU ITS team had already exhausted various tuning options, with little improvement. They also experienced high IOPS during usage spikes that saturated the capabilities of the existing storage array. Furthermore, disk storage capacity was running out; hence the desire to look for a solution that also supported thin provisioning. NexentaStor provided that means, especially when NAU became convinced via testing that NFS performance could equal that of iSCSI in their environment.

“It was a vicious cycle,” according to Booher. “We kept adding more storage at more cost where the controllers were already having a hard time keeping up, but it felt more like triage than a real solution. We needed to change the way we thought about storage in order to break out of this cycle.”

Beginning with performance, NAU students and staff no longer have to worry about unacceptably slow computers. Thin clients, thick clients and VMs now have faster performance because of the new storage infrastructure.

According to NAU’s Kreidl: “We now have better than a 93% cache read rate, we very rarely see latency above 10 milliseconds - a speed that’s practically unprecedented here, and this type of performance is consistent even as usage spikes significantly throughout the academic calendar. Our team used to sweat out the traffic spikes around class registration, but that issue is now behind us.”

“We are very excited to be able to work with Northern Arizona University and help them transition from a legacy storage implementation to an SDS solution that provides them with better performance for students, faculty and school administrators,” according to Tarkan Maner, Chairman and CEO at Nexenta. “The scalability of their technology infrastructure is now far more flexible and modular, with the ability to dynamically allocate and re-allocate assets without worrying about performance or storage implications.”

Please refer to the Northern Arizona University Case Study for more implementation details.

Tweet This: .@Nexenta great collaboration with the IT team at @NAU. Check out our new case study at http://tinyurl.com/kx4tlws #softwaredefinedstorage

 About Nexenta

Nexenta is the global leader in Software-Defined Storage with 6,000+ customers, 1,000+ partners, 30+ patents, and more than 1 Exabyte (1,000 petabytes) of storage under management. Nexenta uniquely integrates software-only “Open Source” collaboration with commodity hardware-centric “Software-Defined Everything” innovation via its industry-leading OpenSDx vision. Nexenta 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 Data Center-centric Cloud Computing. Nexenta 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 – from Private to Public to Hybrid Clouds. 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, 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.

Nexenta, NexentaStor, NexentaConnect, NexentaEdge and NexentaFusion are trademarks or registered trademarks of Nexenta Systems Inc., in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks, service marks and company names mentioned in this document are properties of their respective owners.


Allison Darin,

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