The University of Oxford is an internationally renowned institution that is consistently ranked among the best higher education establishments globally. Oxford’s Faculty of Classics is part of the university’s Humanities Division and is the largest faculty of its kind in the world. As well as educating, it produces world-leading research through its three research centres and more than twenty research projects.
The Faculty of Classics is responsible for its own IT management, and has several critical applications that require high availability. These are spread over 20 Virtual Machines (VMs) for, amongst other things, the faculty website, print server, research projects and administration. To mitigate against the potential of downtime, the servers hosting the VMs urgently needed to be made highly available.
Diggory Gray, IT Officer within the faculty was tasked with deploying a solution that would be lightweight, simple to manage and be as cost-effective as possible.
Diggory had a number of options available to him; the idea of implementing a physical SAN for shared storage across two servers was quickly discarded. Keeping the server cost to a minimum also played a significant role in determining which solution would be selected.
After a conversation with some colleagues about virtual storage appliances, StorMagic SvSAN was suggested as a potential option. Ultimately, its lightweight architecture and need for only 1 GB of memory before caching left it a clear winner ahead of its rivals.
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