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Over the next several months, ITS will replace aging hardware that stores data for more than 70 departments on campus and serves as a backup destination for the bulk of ITS data.

For this project, ITS will need to move the billions of files used to run ITS services, backup and recovery.

Improving reliability

This NetApp hardware is six years old and is nearing the end of its useful life. As hardware ages, it becomes less reliable, the potential for data loss grows, and maintenance costs increase.

Matt Conley
Matt Conley

For the project, ITS will replace the ESMC0 hardware supporting and and the ESMC5 hardware that provides some primary storage for Splunk and serves as that backup location for most of ITS data.

On ESMC0, ITS has more than 400 volumes that hold data for more than 70 departments on campus along with core ITS services such as Splunk, ImageNow, Sakai, OpenShift and Identity Management, said Matt Conley, ITS Manager, Storage, Server and Application Virtualization. ESMC5, meanwhile, holds literally billions of files used for backup and recovery.

“The data sets are the one of the most important assets on ITS infrastructure,” he said.

Migrating billions of files

The new hardware is on site and the data migration is about 30% completed. ITS Infrastructure & Operations started migrating the data in January. ESMC0 will be finished in the next several weeks. ESMC5 will take longer because there’s more data on it.

“We will be migrating more than 400 volumes and billions of files. This will require careful execution and many months to migrate,” Conley said.

He expects ITS will complete the work in early spring.

Conley’s ITS Global Systems Infrastructure team is managing the work, with technical leads Hung Pham and, until he retired on January 31, Loren Watterson. Since September, ITS’ Virtualization Administrator Leander DeCristofaro has put in a tremendous effort to learn the processes and as much institutional knowledge as possible from Watterson’s 28 years of experience at Carolina.

Richard Hill’s ITS Systems Administration team will assist with any host-level work.

Many benefits

Among the key benefits, the new equipment can:

  • Simplify operations and reduce costs
  • Maximize investment with leading storage efficiency
  • Scale capacity and performance without disruption
  • Guard against data loss and accelerate recovery with integrated data protection
  • Eliminate business disruptions due to failures, maintenance, and site disasters
  • Protect sensitive company and customer information with built-in data security

The new hardware is expected to have a useful lifespan of three to five years.

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