Purdue University upgrade's IT infrastructure for storing and protecting vital school data

LSI Corporation has announced that Purdue University's Krannert School of Management has implemented an end-to-end SAS storage area network (SAN) based on LSI 6Gb/s SATA+SAS host bus adapters (HBAs) and industry-first 6Gb/s SAS switch. The LSI SAS SAN solution has helped the school to optimise storage performance and utilisation behind its expanded virtual server capacity; deliver an order of magnitude more storage bandwidth; and improve fault tolerance - all at a fraction of the cost of implementing a new Fibre Channel or iSCSI SAN.

The SAS SAN solution also provides the flexibility and scalability to allow for future growth while improving the protection of student, faculty and administrative data vital to the school's daily operations.

"Virtualising storage-intensive servers without major performance losses requires a level of storage performance that SANs had so far been unable to achieve," said Jeff Ello, IT manager, Krannert School of Management, Purdue University. "10Gb iSCSI seemed like the obvious choice, but cost was a big deterrent. Then I learned of LSI 6Gb/s SAS switching technologies. All the benefits of a failover SAN, with the performance of an end-to-end native SAS 6Gb/s data path, well within our budget. It seemed too good to be true, but that's exactly what we got."
Ello continued, "We now have three times the virtual machine capacity, significantly greater bandwidth and full redundancy in the data path; plus a technology roadmap that will meet our requirements for years to come."
At the heart of the Management School's SAS-based SAN, which was built by LSI channel reseller partner, Area Data Systems, are two wide, 1U 16-port LSI SAS6160 SAS switches. Each of the SAS6160's 16 4-lane SAS ports delivers bandwidth of 24Gb/s per port for up to 384Gb/s aggregated bandwidth per switch. The school's servers utilise two LSI 6Gb/s SATA+SAS HBAs with two connections per HBA, for a total of 96Gb/s of throughput to the SAN.
While improved performance was a key requirement, data availability, protection and recoverability were the school's highest priorities. With active students on four continents, assignments, faculty research and administrative records must all be online with 24x7 accessibility. LSI SAS6160 switches provide multiple, redundant data paths to its RAID-protected external storage pool of almost 35TB. The SAS6160 switches also improve IT efficiency by maximising storage resource utilisation while eliminating islands of storage, resulting in significantly reduced energy use and physical footprint.

"Too often, organisations automatically turn to Fibre Channel or iSCSI for SAN implementations, but as an institution that teaches business efficiency and budget management, Purdue's Krannert School of Management realised the benefits offered by an end-to-end SAS SAN solution," said Brent Blanchard, director of worldwide channel sales and marketing, LSI Corporation. "The performance, connectivity and efficiency offered by LSI SAS switches and HBAs delivered the perfect solution for upgrading the school's virtualised server and storage infrastructure." 

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