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Bellarmine College Prep Deploys Low-Cost SAN with Off-the-Shelf Hardware

Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, CA has deployed a software-defined storage system to reduce storage costs and provide campus-wide redundancy.

A few years ago, the private secondary school realized it needed a shared storage system to handle the increasing amount of data it was storing, and it also needed faster performance, higher availability and centralized management. They received a donation of a traditional storage area network, but after that system expired the school couldn't afford to replace it. Instead, the IT team built its own storage infrastructure running DataCore SANsymphony-V on SuperMicro-based servers with LSI SAS/SATA controllers and various off-the-shelf hard drives, according to information on DataCore's site.

Bellarmine's do-it-yourself SAN is a cost-effective and flexible solution that gives them the freedom to use any hypervisor, storage or server platform. It also enables them to purchase additional hard drives as needed, so they can take advantage of faster, larger, lower-cost drives as they come on the market. According to DataCore, SANsymphony-V has also enabled to school to improve performance and reduce storage-related downtime by splitting the SAN so one node and its storage are located in the school's primary data center, while the other node and its storage are located in the school's secondary data center.

"Having the ability to scale and work across multiple nodes campus-wide and to be able to fail over as needed for upgrades/maintenance/expansion — even during regular business hours — is a real luxury," said Chris Carey, IT director at Bellarmine, in a prepared statement. "DataCore SANsymphony-V hasn't been down since we installed it."

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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