I had an opportunity to speak with Matt Thompson and Dustin Jordan of the Texas Tech University System about their use of technology to attract students to their university system.
Please introduce yourself and your organization.
We're Matt Thompson, Manager, Enterprise Systems, Technology Operations & Systems Management, Texas Tech University System and Dustin Jordan, Assistant Managing Director, Technology Operations & Systems Management, Texas Tech University System.
As one of the largest university systems in Texas, Texas Tech University System is responsible for providing IT services and support for more than 48,000 students and employees. At Texas Tech, shared services are essential to delivering quality, timely IT resources to students, faculty and staff. In order to serve 11 colleges, a graduate school and a school of law, as well as a Health Sciences Center, Texas Tech relies on a flexible Dell Compellent and EqualLogic storage platform to support its virtualized shared services hosting model. In addition, the university relies on an Oracle 11g database to support its ERP system, hosted on Dell PowerEdge servers.
What were you doing that needed this type of technology?
Our ERP and virtual servers were spread across a number of physical servers and storage infrastructure. We were looking to consolidate this work onto a fewer number of servers and a cost-effective storage solution. We were using a number of EMC storage systems that were not easily upgradable. The longevity and performance of the storage products was really important to us. Also automatic tiering for performance was very important to us as well.
What products did you consider?
We looked at the latest EMC VNX, HP 3PAR and Dell Compellent.
Why did you select this technology?
We selected the Dell Compellent because of a few things.
- Cost was important to us.
- The utilization of the latest technology was important. At that time, it was the introduction of SAS hard drives.
- Automatic tiering was a key factor. It was something that was offered by two of the three at the time and that was an important decision factor.
- Thin provisioning was another important factor. All three of the competitors offered this capability in one form or another.
- We had begun to use de-duplication and integration and wanted to understand the future roadmap before making a decision on products.
- Our relationship with Dell was also a key decision factor.
What tangible benefit have you received through the use of this technology?
The use of this technology has resulted in Texas Tech realizing:
- 40 percent improvement in storage utilization
- 20-fold faster storage provisioning
- 75 percent less storage management time required
- 75 percent reduction in recovery time objective (RTO)
- The ability to support real-time replication to our disaster recovery site using the existing infrastructure.
What advice would you offer others?
Outside of looking into this platform, the biggest advice I'd offer is to know your storage performance requirements, that is what performance you require from any given storage array.
Dell offers several storage platforms. Their technical account teams can offer their suggestions from their extensive catalog of solutions.