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Systems Infrastructure team updates NetApp hardware

Throughout 2018, the Systems Infrastructure team within ITS Infrastructure & Operations worked on the NetApp life cycle refresh, which ITS conducts regularly to ensure optimal performance.

NetApp is a data management solutions company that provides ITS with on-campus data storage. There are four uses for the storage hardware – database and operating system storage, file storage and backups are all saved there.

Matt Conley
Matt Conley

Up-to-date hardware is essential

The life cycle refresh is the process of migrating data from the current hardware to a new, updated hardware. Hardware refreshes ensure that hardware is replaced before it degrades physically. These refreshes are also beneficial because new technology usually becomes better and less expensive. Having a refresh policy keeps hardware current and prevents mechanical issues as the rate of disk failure increases with hardware age.

I&O ordered the new hardware in 2017 and it arrived in 2018. The Systems Infrastructure team deployed and migrated the data through the end of 2018.

Upon selecting new hardware, ITS must be conscientious when scheduling the data migration. “The Systems Infrastructure team tries to avoid general outages and aims to migrate data in such a way that does not disrupt service to customers,” said Matt Conley, ITS Manager, Storage, Server and Application Virtualization.

Once the data is moved to new hardware, the software systems that direct users to data must be updated to point to the new data locations.

Campus benefits from refresh

“All campus groups use the infrastructure affected by the hardware refresh in some way,” Conley said.

The Systems Infrastructure team is directly responsible for supporting all business operations for the University and indirectly supports a large portion of other University operations.

ITS must consider the use for the data when choosing the hardware to purchase. Reliable but slow servers can be used for data that must be kept but is infrequently accessed, like HIPAA-protected medical records. More expensive, faster servers can be used for data that is likely to be accessed frequently.

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