Virtualization Technology News and Information
Pittsburgh Technical Institute Graduates to Private Cloud with EMC Unified Storage
EMC Corporation, the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, today announced that Western Pennsylvania-based  Pittsburgh Technical Institute (PTI) selected EMC unified storage over NetApp for its 99% virtualized VMware server infrastructure. As part of the roll-out, EMC and VMware are providing the foundation for PTI's private cloud infrastructure.

Jon Buhagiar, PTI's Manager, Network Operations, said, "We can deliver storage and processing to hundreds of virtual machines and desktops without any impact on application performance. Since we have 99 percent of our infrastructure virtualized, we're hitting our Celerra pretty hard and definitely getting our money's worth from our storage systems. EMC's flash drive performance has been tremendous."

William Showers, PTI's Supervisor, Application Programming, said, "We looked extremely closely at EMC and NetApp, ultimately opting for EMC Celerra. In addition to performance, the EMC solution offered measurably more simplicity, efficiency and flexibility. We were particularly pleased with Celerra's file compression with data deduplication, multiple RAID options and support of both 8-gigabyte fibre channel and 10-gigabyte Ethernet.  EMC's extensive integration and alignment with VMware also played big into our decision because we knew the solutions would be tightly integrated and well supported by both companies."

Buhagiar noted "Basing our private cloud infrastructure on EMC and VMware has enabled us to become incredibly flexible. For example, PTI staffers now can grab a virtual desktop from anywhere even though we're doing all the processing from our data center."

"We no longer need IT staff here at night to replace failed servers," said Showers. "If a server has trouble, it goes into maintenance mode and automatically moves all of the virtual machines to another server until we're back in the office to solve the problem, reducing overtime on the weekends, which we all appreciate."

"Our instructors also needed remote access to high-end programming, CAD, multimedia and other applications so they could grade student work or prepare lesson plans from home. There also was growing demand among admissions staff to share video and photos of student activities, building construction and other events. All these capabilities required bigger servers and power and cooling upgrades that we couldn't afford and couldn't squeeze into our data center floor space."

EMC and VMware solutions have provided PTI with significant improvements, such as:

  • Rollout of virtual desktops enabled with increased flash drive performance.
  • Consolidation of approximately 70-75 physical servers reduced to 10 servers.
  • Avoiding hundreds of thousands of dollars for new servers and power and cooling upgrades.
  • Reduced IT staff overtime due to increased storage and server reliability.

PTI's EMC Celerra NS unified storage comprises EMC enterprise flash drives (EFDs) for VMware virtual machines and virtual desktops and fibre channel disk for student files, media serving, Blackboard distance learning, Microsoft SQL Server students records database and Microsoft Exchange email. Using VMware vSphere, PTI has virtualized 99 percent of its server infrastructure with 10 physical VMware servers running 300 virtual machines. VMware View enables PTI to provide 100 virtual desktops to faculty and administrators. PTI also uses CLARiiON CX3 for virtual machine backups and CLARiiON AX4 for storing security video.

Published Monday, November 08, 2010 6:29 PM by David Marshall
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