SDG deploys five-way storage for Melbourne Business School

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Storage integrator SecureData Group (SDG) has converted the Melbourne Business School to a NAS system it believes is the first of its kind in Australia.

Steve Boi, national sales manager at SDG, said the reseller had won a tender against about six rivals to modernise data storage for the Melbourne Business School. The value of the deal was confidential, he said.

The answer SDG offered was a five-way SQL and Exchange cluster running iSCSI into a NetApp (formerly Net Appliance) filer on a Gigabit network. It offered 2TB of storage but that could be scaled up by a factor of 10, he said.

“We believe to the best of our knowledge that this is a first in Australia,” Boi said.

He said one “exciting thing” about the setup was that it used NetApp FAS250 storage to do near-instantaneous online backups of SQL 2000 and Exchange 2003 for what was not a large corporation.

“NetApp provided iSCSI functionality at low cost with their fibre technology providing SAN-like, block level access without the need to deploy the more expensive fibre infrastructure that SAN requires,” Boi said.

The setup also used NetApp's SnapMirror, SnapDrive, SnapManager and SnapRestore software, Veritas Net Backup V2i Protector for the operating system recoverability, Quantum M1500 box and six IBM Windows-based servers, he said.

“They had mainly direct attached storage -- server-based,” Boi said. “NetApp snapshotting technology enables them to do this near-instantaneous backup and recover Exchange data within one hour.”

SDG would support the system and NetApp would support its technology as required, he said.

Phillip Simone, IT director at Melbourne Business School, said the SDG offering promised a good return on investment for three, four and five years.

“We are in the process of merging with the Mt Eliza Business School to become Australia's largest such institution, so scalability and being able to share data storage across remote sites were important,” Simone said.

Mt Eliza Business School will bring 1000 more students to Melbourne Business School's roll of about 500. Melbourne Business School has offered degree and diploma programs in business administration, management and marketing since 1956.

It is 45 percent owned by the University of Melbourne and 55 percent owned by various Australian businesses.

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