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QLogic FabricCache Accelerates Virtual Desktops and Extends Infrastructure Lifecycles for Titusville School District
QLogic, the industry leader in Fibre Channel adapters, today announced that the Titusville, Pa. School District has implemented a QLogic FabricCache solution to maximize the performance and scalability of the district's virtual desktop initiative and overall IT infrastructure, and realize immediate and long-term savings on current and future IT investments.

The Titusville School District supports 2,200 students from elementary through high school across six campuses. The core IT infrastructure delivers applications through leased lines and a private fiber optic network connecting the campuses' 1,400 desktop PCs, laptop PCs, netbooks and tablet computers. Despite aggressive replacement and upgrade policies at the district, aging equipment coupled with a growing number of devices was hampering classroom productivity, slowing application response times and frustrating students and faculty.

The Titusville IT team launched a virtual desktop initiative and quickly realized that architecting a district-wide deployment took more resources than they had in-house. The district turned to Cross IT, a QLogic Advanced Solutions Partner specializing in virtualization technology and the education market, to help develop and implement a plan. QLogic Advanced Solutions Partners receive well-rounded business, technology and consultancy training to help ensure customers improve business results by reaping maximum benefit from technology investments.

"To bridge the gap between fast application performance and aging PCs, we recommended virtual desktop software from VMware and FabricCache adapters from QLogic," said Thomas Breakiron, manager of technical services at Cross IT. "Virtual desktop implementations require storage solutions with a large number of high performance hard disk drives (HDD) to effectively replace desktop PCs. With the need for such a large investment in storage, the overall savings would have been minimal. By adding FabriCache adapters with flash memory, we reduced PC replacements and cut down on the number of expensive drives required. This subsequently reduced power usage and significant cooling and maintenance costs, resulting in substantial savings."

QLogic FabricCache is the industry's first caching storage area network (SAN) adapter, combining the market-leading QLogic Fibre Channel adapter, intelligent caching and I/O management with a server-based PCIe flash card. The FabricCache solution massively exceeds the performance possible from traditional SAN-based technology with a design breakthrough that enables acceleration of virtualized and clustered applications without changes to existing server software or infrastructure. With a FabricCache adapter capable of 300,000 IOPS of performance versus only 180 IOPS for a hard disk drive (HDD), the district was able to increase performance and drive down costs for Titusville by using a handful of FabricCache adapters instead of multiple trays full of disk drives.

With VMware Horizon View desktop virtualization software, old PCs became dumb displays and no longer needed beefy processing power and memory capacity to run the resource-intensive applications used by the schools. Virtual desktop servers send individual screens over the network, which are painted on each user's PC, netbook or tablet.

"Virtual desktops and FabricCache made old PCs blazing fast again, and the useful life of computers was doubled - slashing replacement costs," said John Frye, director of technology, Titusville Area School District. "The lower cost of FabricCache delivered immediate cost-savings for the Titusville School District, versus a multi-year return-on-investment approach using disk drives for storage. The cost savings resulted in freeing substantial funds for network and server infrastructure improvements and other important initiatives."

Published Monday, February 10, 2014 6:26 PM by David Marshall
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