Open Source Software Defined Storage in Academic Environments
Academic IT environments are often the most advanced users of technology. Given the research nature of those environments, they often have to push the boundaries of technology to the edge. Hence open source technologies fit really well in those environments. They can customize such solutions to fit their exact needs. Open source solutions are also less expensive than proprietary solutions which fits with the cost constraints of such environments.
SUSE Enterprise Storage is a Ceph based software defined storage solution that fits the university IT needs well. Whether it’s the central IT department providing services to the entire university system, or an individual department that needs storage for their researchers they can use this open source solution in a variety of use cases. A few example use cases include:
Disk to Disk Backup: A university was struggling with their ever increasing backup data size. They had upgraded from a 200TB deduplication device to a 400TB less than two years ago and were already running out of space again. Their appliance hadn’t even been fully depreciated. Instead of upgrading to a larger appliance they deployed a scalable SUSE Enterprise Storage based solution that allowed them to grow over time. They moved the deduplication function to the backup software. So in case they mis-forecasted their growth over the next 3 years, they will not have to replace out potentially undepreciated hardware– instead they will just be able to add more nodes to their storage cluster to get additional space.
HPC Storage: SUSE Enterprise Storage is a deployed in many use cases in HPC storage, although most for near line storage and archival storage with High Performance Compute (HPC) and High Performance Data Analytics (HPDA) applications. A number of research departments of universities are testing out SUSE Enterprise Storage ver 5 (which comes with the performance improvements of BlueStore and enhanced management interface of OpenAttic) that will be generally available on the 31st of October. We also recently announced the certification of HPE Data Management Framework (DMF) with SUSE Enterprise Storage. HPE DMF is a hierarchical storage and data management platform that combines primary and cost optimized storage solutions to create a tiered storage architecture for HPC and HPDA applications.
Genomics Data Repository: University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada was expanding their genomics research project, which required growing their storage significantly. The Center for Heart Lung Innovation at UBC uses the best imaging technology to record changes in cells and tissues to understand the link between genes and the environment in causing various diseases. Research data is growing at 25% per year which creates challenges around increased cost for storage upgrades and maintenance. Instead of having to perform forklift upgrades every so often, they were looking at a scalable storage solution that could keep the costs low. They deployed a storage solution built with SUSE Enterprise Storage with Intel Cache Acceleration Software (CAS) and Intel Data Center SSDs that helped them maintain their service level agreements (SLAs) to end users in addition to keeping costs low.
File Sharing: University Hospital Essen is a public teaching hospital that serves over 250,000 patients. With various applications coming online their storage requirements were increasing rapidly. Also they needed to provide a file sharing solution for their scientists and medical staff for better collaboration. University Hospital Essen ended up deploying a SUSE Enterprise Storage Based solution to lower their storage costs. They also implemented a file sharing solution to prevent sensitive data from leaving the control of Central IT group.
These are just a few examples of use cases where SUSE Enterprise Storage is a fit within academic environments. With the upcoming SUSE Enterprise Storage 5 on Oct 31st customers can take advantage of the latest enhancements and deploy a unified open source storage solution in a cost effective manner.