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Technology / Data

Hull University on course with data management system

It is hoped the system will enable the university to manage a rapid growth in stored data. The university also hopes to be able to streamline backup windows, which can currently stretch to 12 hours.

BridgeHead says that the software will help reduce power consumption at the university, which will reduce the environmental impact of data storage, as part of the Carbon Trust’s Higher Education Carbon Management (HECM) programme.

BridgeHead and the university will work with NexStor to implement the new system, which will automatically archive data from its Network Appliance fibre channel storage system onto secondary media, including SATA disk.

Dr David Jarvis, desktop and data services manager at the University’s Computing Services department, said: For many years, we only had 3/4 TB of central storage to accommodate the requirements of both students and staff. After moving to the Network Appliance solution two years ago, this quickly expanded to 20 TB.

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Teaching and learning materials made up most of the University’s storage space, but research data, such as mapping information from the Geography department and x-ray information from the Medical Engineering department, was also stored.
Many of our users were storing large amounts of important information on their own hard drives and other devices. Moving this to central storage, coupled with a general increase in demand, meant we had to plan ahead before our data management got out of control, said Dr Jarvis.

The company says that any data removed from the primary storage facility will be replaced with a 1KB placeholder, which will enable staff and students to access it at a later date, if it is still in the live environment. Data is catalogued and indexed before being moved to the archive, meaning users can search for information.

BridgeHead says FileStore is a policy-based automated data management system. The company says it can monitor, analyse and report on primary disk utilisation. Data contained in the primary storage device is automatically copied and repositioned to a full range of secondary storage devices.

Commenting on why the university chose FileStore, Dr Jarvis said: We’re putting in place a long term strategy so we wanted to avoid newer suppliers who we couldn’t be sure would be around in years to come. And it was important that they could support us from the UK because we didn’t want to encounter the same issues we’ve had when making technical support calls to other countries.

This article is from the CBROnline archive: some formatting and images may not be present.