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Slow, inefficient performance can cripple any organization. Add unnecessary complexity on top of that, and you’ve got a recipe for business failure. Performance problems in the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment, specifically with an existing legacy storage area network (SAN) that’s slowing down and running out of space, can be solved with an enterprise-class hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI).

The University of South Carolina (USC) Upstate was facing this exact problem. Driven by an ambition to be recognized nationally among peer institutions for excellence in both education and operational effectiveness, USC Upstate knew that technology changes needed to be made in order to support this goal. In order to combat this problem, Kevin Hodges, VDI systems administrator for USC Upstate, chose to implement VMware vSAN to increase storage and simplify complexity.

vSAN provides a simple evolution to full-stack HCI, broad flexibility and multi-cloud capabilities. It allows any organization to run their business-critical applications with enterprise reliability, greater speed of access and expanded storage capacity. The result? USC Upstate’s challenges were not only met, but their expectations were far exceeded.

 

Scalable Data Capacity = Cost Savings

Improving performance means migrating data from a legacy SAN to a Virtual SAN. With vSAN, USC Upstate was able to reap the benefits of deduplication and compression. These data reduction technologies enable greater storage efficiency in all-flash vSAN configurations. When data is de-staged to the capacity tier, vSAN first deduplicates the data and then applies compression. This ensures that space efficiency is achieved without impacting performance.

It’s vital for all organizations to remain flexible when it comes to their data capacity. Luckily, if more capacity or performance is needed, vSAN allows organizations to simply add the necessary components to one of their existing clusters. This can be done by just adding a single host which enables a low-cost, incremental scale up or scale out provisioning model. With the ability to add more storage in a scalable manner, USC Upstate saw roughly 50% in savings over a three-year period.

Ace the Simplicity Test

vSAN is embedded directly in the hypervisor, creating an integrated environment that works seamlessly with all vSphere components. This eliminates the networking and switching between the SAN and the hosts, which are processes that typically complicate the storage environment. With a simpler storage environment, organizations like USC Upstate can enjoy the user experience of VDI and reap greater speeds and efficiency without the complication of managing multiple systems.

In fact, it was the performance levels offered by vSAN that informed USC Upstate’s choice. “When we went to Virtual SAN, it fixed all our performance problems immediately,” Hodges says. “Having an integrated, solid state, hypervisor-controlled storage system makes all the difference in the world as far as performance.”

Because of vSAN, USC Upstate now has the ability to easily scale their storage capacity as new faculty join their staff and more students enroll. With this scalability, the university is better prepared to cope with their business requirements and provide their faculty and staff with the appropriate services to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.

“Having an integrated, solid state, hypervisor-controlled storage system makes all the difference in the world as far as performance.”

Thanks to vSAN, any organization in any industry can enjoy a comprehensive and scalable HCI storage solution that keeps up with evolving business needs and offers significant cost savings. For more on how vSAN can work in your own environment, stay tuned to the VirtualBlocks blogs.