Univ of Iowa Uses Brocade

University of Iowa updates academic and administrative services with Brocade SAN solutions and services

October 29, 2007

2 Min Read
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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Brocade(R) (Nasdaq: BRCD), the leading provider of networked storage solutions that help enterprises connect and manage their information, today announced that the University of Iowa, a major U.S. research institution, implemented Brocade Storage Area Network (SAN) directors, switches, and the Brocade Fabric operating system to increase application performance, simplify management, and reduce expenses.

"At the University of Iowa, we depend on scalable, high-performance storage systems to provide our user community with smooth, uninterrupted access to academic and administrative applications," said Peter Brokaw, Manager of UNIX Systems Administration for Information Technology Services (ITS), the university's central provider of IT services. "Brocade lets us meet current capacity requirements with room to grow as we add new servers and storage devices."

A Solution for High Performance and Scalable Growth

ITS maintains two data centers that provide academic and administrative applications for nearly 45,000 students, faculty, and staff throughout the University's 19,000-acre campus. The university's 11 colleges are devoted to the study of liberal arts, business, medicine, education, engineering, law, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, and public health. ITS uses the SAN to provide many essential services for campus, including e-mail and file services for most faculty, staff, and students, database support for many departments, software development, and library automation.

In 2000, ITS deployed a then state-of-the-art dual-fabric SAN to support rapidly increasing computing, data, application, and storage demands. However, these requirements grew exponentially over time with the introduction of new generation imaging and multimedia applications. To manage this growth, ITS added new servers and SAN devices. However, this strategy in the long term required new levels of SAN performance and scalability.To address the issues, ITS replaced multiple older switches with two Brocade 48000 Directors in its main data center and added Brocade Switches at a second on-campus facility used primarily for data mirroring. The Brocade 48000 Directors provide the foundation for a centralized, high-capacity SAN fabric as well as the scalability and throughput necessary for current and future data needs. The directors scale non-disruptively from 32 to as many as 384 concurrently active 4 Gbit/sec full-duplex ports in a single domain. The Brocade Switches also provide industry-leading 4 Gbit/sec performance for ITS's mirroring center and scale up to 32 ports with a simple license activation. ITS also implemented Brocade Fabric OS, which provides enterprise-class high availability, reliability, and security for the SAN.

The SAN was upgraded, and a team from the Brocade Services organization verified the installation. "We were very satisfied with the work performed by Brocade Services representatives," said Dave Shafer, University of Iowa ITS department's storage leader. "They were knowledgeable and efficient, and gave us confidence that the upgraded SAN was ready for production."

Brocade Communications Systems Inc.

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