challenge: Provide reliable, high-Density and scalable storage
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is known worldwide for the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs. UCLA’s strength is its size, allowing for exceptional diversity and virtually limitless possibility. The university is a shared public asset that benefits society by educating students, creating knowledge through research discoveries, powering the economy and improving quality of life.
UCLA’s central IT infrastructure is a fee-for-service model; researchers, departments and other users lease a specific amount of storage from the University for a specific period of time. Their uses for that storage range all the way from supporting cutting-edge research to archiving data and beyond, and because of this variety IT administrators have to be careful that their entire infrastructure is flexible enough to deliver proper service for all users in all cases. For example, their biggest users are in the medical domain; they have to ensure the system complies with regulations and security needs in addition to being fast, available and reliable.
As capacity needs have grown, and user requirements and IT features have evolved, the University realized it needed a storage system that could deliver on a couple of key requirements:
- It needed to provide reliable storage for the entire IT infrastructure.
- It needed to be dense enough to deliver value in limited floor space.
- It also needed the storage to be flexible enough to grow and evolve with its users. As new systems and features have come online, the storage needs to be able to scale appropriately and work with the other various hardware and software systems they may need to acquire.
Despite these needs, the University’s fee-for-service IT model required that the storage system be procured cheaply enough for the University to be able to essentially re-sell it at a price point that would make it more attractive to its users than bigger cloud storage option such as Amazon or Google. Plus, in addition to being competitive, the University hoped to at least cover its expenses, if not even produce some revenue to re-invest into additional services. IT employees found it to be very difficult to find a solution that could do everything they needed at a low-enough price.
At the end of the day, what I want is something that runs very well and I don’t have to worry about it anymore. The Nexsan systems are doing everything we need and then some, and they’re very simple to use. It’s just great storage.
Scott Friedman, Chief Technologist, UCLA