University of Applied Sciences Stralsund focuses on EqualLogic Peer Storage

Since its foundation in 1991 University of Applied Sciences Stralsund has experienced rapid progress. Meanwhile, 2500 male and female students are registered at the university, studying Electrical Engineering, Informatics, Economics and Mechanical Engineering.

University of Applied Sciences Stralsund has positioned itself as a university focused on practical studies and application-oriented teaching and research.

This becomes evident, among others, in numerous projects and final assignments of students in companies and in cooperations of male and female professors with the economic sector in joint research projects.

Above all, student projects such as Studentische Unternehmensberatung Stralsund (consulting business run by students) (SUS e.V., and Baltic Racing Team became firmly established as practical, team-oriented and interdisciplinary projects.

The Mission

For the implementation of teaching and research, however, it is necessary to ensure that the data link infrastructure of the university is kept up to date. The demands placed on the data processing center are complex and the amount of data administered there is growing rapidly.

In order to achieve centralization, virtualization and redundancy of the large number of different servers, a decision was made in favor of a VMware solution. With this solution servers such as web servers, intranet web servers, e-mail servers, data base servers, file servers, back-up servers, application servers, telephony servers etc. were all pooled together.

Almost 3000 users have access to these systems. Nevertheless, the redundancy and migration capability of the servers is insufficient in case they are not matched by an equivalent storage network on the other side, capable of growing as dynamically as the VMware server environment. In search of an adequate solution Stralsund University contacted EUROstor. The university was looking for a master plan with a storage component capable of matching the virtual servers as to flexibility, efficiency and manageability.

Our Solution

In order to provide a coherent master plan EUROstor compiled a solution consisting of servers (Quad-Xeon) for the VMware software and 5 Peer Storage systems of the company Dell EqualLogic. Due to the unique Peer Storage architecture a high-performance and highly flexible storage infrastructure is generated.

Together, three systems with 14 SATA hard disks with 750 GB each as well as two systems with highly revolving and high-performance 300 GB 15K SAS hard disks form two pools allowing the flexible partitioning of the data sectors of the respective applications in accordance with access frequency.Data distribution is performed automatically. Access takes place via a joint IP address thus distributing the load to the physical ports of all Peer Storage systems.

Subsequent expansion of the system is possible without any problems: new systems are incorporated into the existing network without downtime. The data are then automatically distributed to all hard disks. Thus, capacity, performance and bandwidth of the infrastructure always keep up with the storage requirements.

Dell EqualLogic Peer Storage:

  • Heterogeneous support of operating system (Windows, Linux, Unix)

  • Failure protection by means of RAID 10, 5, 50 with hot spare

  • Battery back-up during 72 hrs., 1 GB Cache

  • Redundant controllers, power supply units and fans

  • Volume snapshots via schedulers, ReadOnly and ReadWrite (up to 512 snapshots per volume)

  • Volume cloning

  • Replication between two or more systems

  • Automatic load balancing

  • Maximum scalability of controllers, capacity and bandwidth

  • VMware certified

Customers Voice

“We are very impressed by the performance of the Dell EqualLogic iSCSI storage solution, which was designed for us by EUROstor and offered together with the servers“, says Jan Petrischkeit, a university graduate responsible for maintaining the computer systems.

„The administration interface allows an intuitive operation of the system, resulting in a considerable improvement of the productivity of the university data processing center. The training period was short. We are very impressed by the system’s performance. Now, together with VMware Infrastructure, no single-point-of-failure exists in the server infrastructure.

We have got two user interfaces enabling us to manage everything: the VMware Virtual Center for the computers and the joint administration interface of Dell EqualLogic systems. All in all the changeover greatly benefitted the availability and the performance of the complete system.“