Founded in 1982 and counting more than 500 undergraduate students, 44 permanent members of staff and 50 research assistants/PhD students, the Department of Computer Science at the University of Liverpool is a leading center for teaching and research. Supporting these users, there was a storage infrastructure comprising three RAID systems storing 5 TB of data, and DLT tape drives directly attached to two servers via a SCSI interface. Of these RAID systems, two were connected to a server dedicated for staff filestore, while the other was connected to another identical server for student filestore. In a move aimed at making the storage more efficient, the StorMagic SM Series iSCSI SAN was deployed to network the existing resources and protect 4 TB of data.
Because of the nature of our department, our users generate vast amounts of data and want to have access to a technology infrastructure that offers them very high availability and performance 24/7, said Kenneth Chan, principal experimental officer at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Liverpool. The existing RAID systems were directly attached to the servers and as a result, they were becoming marginalized. We decided that networking our storage would be more effective, and the StorMagic system was the answer for us.