Research at Reading boosted by Nutanix storage solution

Nutanix, which specialises in enterprise cloud computing, has worked with the University of Reading to implement its Nutanix Files software-defined scale-out file storage solution for unstructured data, enabling the university to simplify IT management and increase ease of scalability.

The University of Reading has more than 50 research centres, many of which are recognised as international centers of excellence in a variety of areas including agricultural, biological and physical sciences and meteorology. With approximately 5,000 faculty members and 20,000 students, it was crucial for their IT team to have an environment that could support large amounts of data and enable both students and faculty to actually focus on the research instead of worrying about the amount of data storage they were taking up.

With Nutanix Files, the University of Reading is better able to support the faculty and students that require large amounts of data storage. For example, if a professor comes to their IT team with a research grant that requires 200 terabytes, it would have taken approximately two months to provision the storage. With Nutanix they are able to do it in a couple of minutes.

Before implementing Nutanix Files, the University of Reading’s storage infrastructure consisted of external controllers that were complex to manage, making it increasingly difficult and time consuming for their IT team to support this environment. They knew they needed a solution with a single pane of glass that would allow them to easily manage increasing scale when new research needed to be completed, as well as simplify the management of their environment.

In the past when the University of Reading would do a lift-and-shift upgrade, it would take them two to three weeks to add more capacity, and resulted in significant downtime for their users. With Nutanix Files, they can add capacity with one-click with minimal disruptions to the users.

“Without sacrificing performance we were able to lower our cost, while increasing speed and simplicity. In the past when our legacy NAS software needed new shares it had to be set up by the support team using specialist interfaces, but with Nutanix Files anyone can do it and it’s easy to automate,” said Kevin Mortimer, Head of Operations at University of Reading. “Shares are now available online in seconds and we do not experience the usual performance bottlenecks associated with separate server and storage platforms.”

Nutanix Files has also allowed the University of Reading to benefit from large storage compression. On average across all the clusters, this gives the University about a 16:1 compression ratio and has allowed them to save about 700 terabytes of data, resulting in significant savings.

“With Nutanix Files, organizations and universities are able to focus on more strategic and proactive IT projects, instead of worrying about storage capacity and scalability,” said Dave Kresse, VP and GM Files, Nutanix. “The University of Reading IT team is now able to spend less time on just keeping the lights on and IT management, and can now spend more time actually supporting faculty and students.”

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