This project has been driven by the growth in storage demand across the organisation and a desire to implement a system that would deliver improved efficiency and services, better value for money, and cater for the future. The University's data has been doubling every 14-18 months and at the same time the number of disparate data silos had been increasing across the organisation as groups attempted locally to solve their challenges. The building of the new data Cloud provides a single effective approach to address all of the storage requirements of the university.
ANU realised that the opportunity existed through economies of scale to significantly improve the manner in which they managed their growing data volumes. The Division of Information (DOI) and the National Computing Infrastructure (NCI) groups aligned the requirements for storage infrastructure to support their initiatives to present a single architecture for performance, functionality and growth. As a result, the new infrastructure is spread across two locations to provide increased resiliency on the ANU campus in Acton, Australian Capital Territory.
"Our data requirements are continually growing and we needed a reliable robust solution to meet this challenge", stated Allan Williams, Director of Information Technology Services at ANU. "Developing and deploying an internal data storage Cloud solution gives us a significant expansion capability with delivery flexibility to meet our academic and core administrative needs. The SGI solution underpins a core element in developing an effective data management strategy for the university."
"Our data storage systems are an important infrastructure for our high performance modelling and data-intensive research", stated Dr. Ben Evans, who oversees data activities for NCI. "We required a flexible and reliable platform to manage data in diverse application areas, such as astronomy, climate, environment, geophysics and the social sciences. With this installation, and ongoing collaboration with SGI, we aim to achieve new level of data service performance and resiliency that integrates with our HPC and Cloud services."
To scale NCI data archive volumes, the cloud uses the SGI Data Migration Facility (DMF) tiered storage and Spectra Logic tape libraries, with capacity of up to 14PB of nearline storage and significant capacity to grow as needs dictate. FalconStor virtualisation servers enhance online stores with dynamic SSD caches while accelerating Virtual Machine back-ups use TimeMark and HyperTrac technologies.
The installation includes over 11PB of SGI InfiniteStorage RAID technology, NAS appliances and 8Gbps fibre channel switching to unify the various components into a Cloud delivering comprehensive storage services.
The SGI Professional Services organisation took responsibility for the overall project and worked with its partners Independent Data Solutions-Group, Spectra Logic and QLogic to implement the solution. SGI consultants worked closely with ANU to optimise the data Cloud. This dialogue has resulted in a system that meets the varied needs of corporate requirements and academic staff of the university, in addition to the support for cutting-edge requirements of NCI stakeholders.
"We are delighted that ANU has entrusted SGI to deploy its DataCloud Solution", stated Nick Gorga, SGI general manager, Australia and New Zealand. "Data is the lifeblood of any organisation. The ability to manage it efficiently and cost-effectively empowers an organisation to make great decisions and discoveries. We are confident ANU will reap significant benefits over the coming years."