University updates storage system to cope with data growth and support grid project

Leeds aims to cut costs with information lifecycle management

Leeds aims to cut costs with information lifecycle management

The University of Leeds has spent £1.1m on an information lifecycle management system to help it cope with an increasing volume of data and enable it to take part in a grid computing project with other universities.

Two Centera storage systems from EMC will help the university cope with a 30% annual growth in the volume of data produced by its IT systems. The technology, described as an information lifecycle management system, runs on an existing storage area network.

Leeds will share much of the capacity of the disc-based systems with the University of York and the University of Sheffield as part of a joint research project.

Leeds used to migrate files to tape, but retrieval times were considered to be too slow.

Steve Chidlow, ISS service manager at the University of Leeds, said, "We are currently experiencing a 30% annual growth in data and are expecting this to rise considerably with the expansion of our grid initiative and other projects such as the digitisation of our video library."

The university, helped by EMC and hardware supplier Dell, migrated 35,000 users onto the storage area network in just one week and has begun to offer a managed storage service to all of its faculties and departments. The aim is to help improve information management across the entire institution.

Chidlow said the university will make operational savings by centralising its student, employee, faculty and departmental storage resources onto the tiered storage infrastructure.

Leeds University is also using EMC Legato Networker to back up its data onto its Adic Scalar i2000 tape libraries, with the option of archiving this information to Centera in the future.

The university is using EMC DiskXtender software to move and manage information from its Windows 2000 and Unix systems to Centera.

DiskXtender enables the file systems to be managed so that inactive data can be moved to a tape-based archive, freeing up space on the system.

The project began in August 2003 when the university implemented a Dell/EMC Clariion CX600 storage system with McData switches in both of its datacentres to manage its critical applications including SAP, library information systems and Microsoft Exchange 2000.

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