Anglia Ruskin University selected US company Violin Memory's flash storage solution ahead of alternatives from Hitachi, Fusion-io and Whiptail as it "out-performed" its competitors, according to the university's assistant IT director Gregor Waddell.
Waddell told Computing that the university had chosen the VMware View VDI solution due to its power efficiency, and soon recognised that in order to run the solution successfully it would need strong storage performance.
He explained that the university had a Hitachi disc-based SAN [Storage Area Network] and attempted to use it for the VDI solution.
"We were encouraged by Hitachi to look at our existing spinning disc SAN. We did a proof of concept and benchmarked about 50 desktops on Hitachi's spinning discs," Waddell said.
"The results were quite unsatisfactory. It was very slow in loading and that was not what we needed for a good student experience. However, it is great for our enterprise applications and databases; we run our file sharing off of it and it is very reliable for that."
He said that he looked at solid state solutions from Whiptill and Fusion-io, and the flash-based Violin solution and carried out a benchmark on each before deciding on a 3000 Series Violin flash Memory Array.
"Violin has the most reliable offering. It was robust and it has a larger number of customers in comparison to other specialist storage vendors, and its performance was great for us. When we benchmarked we didn't see a degradation of performance from the storage. We ran out of server capacity before we ran out of storage capacity which was a good thing," said Waddell.
Waddell also stated that Violin was able to demonstrate a sustainable support management offering to ensure it gets good support into the future.
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