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John Moores University implements San to cope with demand from around the world

Will Hadfield

Liverpool John Moores University has implemented two storage area networks to help it provide services to its growing number of international franchises.

The university's 24,000 students have increased their use of video streaming services over the past five years, with the 4,500 students who access the university's online services from its international franchises adding to the demand.

Liverpool John Moores has 14 franchises around the world, including sites in Abu Dhabi, China, Dubai, Germany, Hungary, Iran and Ireland. But the most demanding users of the university's systems are its students in the UK. They make most use of the online learning facilities after the IT helpdesk has closed.

Kevin Walsh, the university's technical director, said, "The most popular time for access is at 2am. We cannot afford to take our systems down over night to do back-ups. We have to do that in real time."

Liverpool John Moores University has implemented two Sans, an HP Eva 5K and an HP Eva 3K, to meet its students' demands. So far, the university has used 25Tbytes of storage.

According to Walsh, there was a secondary factor behind the San deployment. He said, "The second driver is business continuity. It comes from our own students, who have become much more demanding. They expect access to what they want."

The university has deployed 40 HP Proliant servers to host the two Sans and its business-critical applications - Microsoft Exchange, Oracle Student Database, a library management system and the virtual learning environments.

The reliability of the online learning zones is key for the students. "This is probably one of the first things a student uses," said Walsh.

The university has also implemented a new tape library as part of the San deployment to upgrade its process for backing up.


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