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D-LINK helps UMASS consolidate servers servers to streamline operations, reduce downtime


Upgraded Storage Architecture from D-Link Expands Bandwidth Capacity, Offers University Dependable, Cost-Effective Solution.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif.— Like many mid-sized Enterprises, the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst was interested in consolidating servers to streamline operations, improve its storage architecture, reduce downtime, and conserve resources.

The school’s outdated storage network, which is used primarily for operations (shared storage, faculty files, documents, multimedia, etc.), along with student information and documents, was plagued with frequent service disruptions. This downtime was wreaking havoc with the network’s user base - 145 full-time faculty and staff, plus 120 computer lab desktops that serve students.

Dale A. Starr Jr., Senior Systems Administrator & Project Manager, Isenberg School of Management, was tasked with finding a solution and discovered the D-Link® xStack™ Storage iSCSI SAN Array. “The D-Link product (DSN-3400) stood out because it was one of the only storage solutions out there with a 10G port on it,” he said. “That was key, because I wanted to make sure it had enough capacity in terms of bandwidth.”

UMass opted for two DSN-3400s attached to its 10GB backbone. Two file servers that replicate each other are attached to the two DSN-3400s, providing redundancy. The system employs a third party back-up utility for hot back-ups and scheduled back-ups that interfaces with the popular server virtualization software, VMware’s ESX Server. The solution helped the school consolidate from 20 servers to two mirrored servers. “It dramatically reduced the amount of hardware we have in operation,” said Starr.

The school looked at similar equipment from a couple of other vendors, but “no one had 10G interface at the time,” said Starr. “That was important to me, because we’re a college within the University of Massachusetts. As far as size goes, we’re equivalent to a mid-sized business, and we don’t get funding. So, to fit our budget cycles, we needed a technology we could be comfortable with three to five years out.”

“We are now able to manage machines much easier, and, for the most part, we’re able to do hardware maintenance without bringing machines off line now,” said Starr. “We’re saving a considerable amount of time - just in downtime savings. Every time I do something to a server I don’t have to unplug it and reboot it. And chances are we’re doing better with power consumption and cooling.”

The D-Link xStack SAN array helped the management school replace a previous architecture that simply wasn’t resilient or dependable. Prior to installing the ESX-iSCSI-DSN-3400 solution, the network could not offer reliable uptime. “The D-Link solution keeps our systems up quite a bit more than we have in the past, and maintenance is a lot easier,” said Starr. “Now the service disruptions are, knock on wood, few and far between.”

DSN-3400 1x10GbE iSCSI SAN Array Features

* Integrated iSCSI System-on-a-Chip (SoC) Solution that can Handle over 80,000 I/Os per Second
* 15 drive bays
* Single 10GbE Port
* 15TB Capacity with 1TB Hard Drives (Supports Higher Capacity Drives as They Are Introduced)
* Embedded Disk Controller Supporting RAID Levels 0, 1, 1+0, and 5
* 3U Height


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