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California District Reins In Storage with Scale-Out NAS

Gridstore's NASg nodes house independent multi-core Intel CPUs and operate without a central controller.

California's Ventura Unified School District has moved to a scale-out NAS system in an effort to consolidate storage that had been spread out across 100 disparate servers. The 165 square-mile district standardized on Gridstore's NASg solution, a grid-based system that's the district said it expects to cut down on the complexity and cost of managing independent NAS systems.

According to information released by the company today, Ventura USD's previous storage model had grown "costly and difficult to manage." The new model, based on NASg nodes, will be designed to cut down on management overhead while also providing a a more secure storage environment by eliminating multiple independent points of failure. Scale-out NAS systems operate on a storage grid model, eliminating some of the drawbacks of NAS and SAN client-server models by organizing nodes in a controller-free, "parallel" grid, where each node contains CPU and other computing resources. The architecture is designed to allow for rapid linear growth and to facilitate overall higher performance than other architectures.

"We wanted a comprehensive NAS solution that provided all the functionality for end-to-end storage management with the scale-out features we require as we continue to grow," said Ted Malos, director of technology for Ventura USD, in a statement released today. "No one else but Gridstore has the ease of deployment, transparent management capabilities and Grid functionality in a powerful, comprehensive solution."

Gridstore is one of several manufacturers of scale-out NAS systems. Its NASg nodes run Windows Embedded 7 on dual-core Intel Atom processors (1.6 GHz) and sport 1 GB RAM, 1 TB to 2 TB storage, and gigabit Ethernet out of the box. The 1U nodes consume 25 watts to 28 watts, according to Gridstore. They're pre-configured to detect other connected nodes and join a storage grid automatically. According to the company, NASg runs about one-third the price of standalone NAS systems.

Ventura USD serves 17,000 students in six high schools, four middle schools, and 19 elementary schools, as well as various programs and early education, adult education, and alternative education centers.

NASg pricing starts at $425 per node. Further information about Gridstore NASg can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .