February 02, 2010 08:00 ET

Austin Independent School District Graduates to a Greener Datacenter With 3PAR Utility Storage

Texas School District Deploys InServ T-Class Storage Server for Agility, Simplicity, and Savings

FREMONT, CA--(Marketwire - February 2, 2010) - 3PAR® (NYSE: PAR), the leading global provider of utility storage, announced today that the Austin Independent School District (AISD) has deployed the 3PAR InServ® T400 Storage Server as part of a green datacenter initiative. AISD chose to invest in highly virtualized storage servers from 3PAR as a more agile and efficient, green alternative to their aging Storage Area Network (SAN) of legacy storage arrays. Since deploying the T-Class array, AISD has saved 55% in storage costs. The school district has also been able to keep power demand increase down to less than 30%, even after doubling the size of its datacenter, by leveraging 3PAR Thin Provisioning. With 3PAR Utility Storage, AISD has the ability to non-disruptively reconfigure storage online and was able to avoid hiring a full-time storage administrator -- an expense that would have been necessary with traditional storage.

"3PAR Utility Storage is so easy, I could manage it in my sleep," said William de Dufour, Director Network Systems & Support at AISD. "However, the biggest change for us as a result of deploying 3PAR is the peace of mind we now have. We no longer have to worry about running out of space and power or projecting future capacity requirements. Basically, we can focus on education instead of our storage."

AISD chose 3PAR Utility Storage due to the highly virtualized storage platform's established reputation for leading-edge thin provisioning capabilities as well as its administrative simplicity -- as demonstrated over a series of trials in which AISD pit the InServ T400 against traditional systems from legacy storage vendors. With AISD's previous storage environment, management was such a challenge that it had been years since the school district had made any changes to their SAN. The InServ T400 not only brought autonomic storage capabilities to AISD, but also mixed-workload support and the ability to combine both Nearline and Fibre Channel drives within the same system for cost savings, increased flexibility, and simplified management.

A key element of the industry's most mature and robust thin provisioning offering, 3PAR Thin Provisioning software was also a crucial decision factor for AISD. Historically, users and applications were only actually using a fraction of their allocated space to hold written data. The rest of the space was being allocated up-front but left unused -- an enormous waste of capacity, power, and space. As a result of deploying their InServ T-Class array with 3PAR Thin Provisioning, AISD no longer struggles with low utilization rates and is no longer forced to negotiate the amount of space it can afford to allocate to each of its more than 90,000 users. Instead, AISD is able to allocate any amount of virtual storage up-front while physical capacity is only consumed as user applications require that space for actual written data. As an application writes new data, free capacity within the array is configured and provisioned autonomically -- intelligently, automatically, and without consuming administrative resources. Many competing thin provisioning implementations require manual configuration and pre-dedication of capacity to pools, increasing administration time and reducing achievable capacity savings. The efficiency of 3PAR Thin Provisioning has increased capacity utilization, eliminated waste associated with allocated-but-unused capacity, and streamlined the storage management processes at AISD.

Prior to "greening" their datacenter, power and cooling were major issues for AISD. In addition to 3PAR Thin Provisioning, AISD chose economical, power-efficient, and high-density Nearline SATA drives instead of premium Fibre Channel drives in their 3PAR array to reduce floor space, power, and cost. Nearline SATA drives are effective for a variety of workloads when used in combination with the InServ's wide striping, which effectively spreads each application data volume over every SATA or Fibre Channel drive in the array to simultaneously deliver high performance and high utilization levels. Nearline SATA drives deliver higher density for the same power consumption, thereby extending the life of the school district's energy-strapped datacenter.

"After moving to 3PAR we noticed significant performance increases across our applications including VMware," said de Dufour. "We anticipate that our investment in 3PAR, which has yielded both operational and physical storage savings, will enable us to add an additional two hundred virtual servers in the coming year without hitting our space or power limits and without adding to our datacenter headcount."

"With 3PAR, AISD was able to buy less storage than would have been necessary with traditional arrays while actually doing more with that capacity -- and while meeting their green IT targets," said David Scott, 3PAR President and CEO. "3PAR's autonomic approach to storage has not only delivered financial benefits, but has freed AISD from burdensome manual provisioning, low storage utilization rates, and the wasteful practice of overallocating physical storage capacity up-front. This is precisely what we mean when we say our green storage systems help customers do more with less -- less power, less management, and less real estate."

About 3PAR

3PAR® (NYSE: PAR) is the leading global provider of utility storage, a category of highly virtualized and dynamically tiered storage arrays built for public and private cloud computing. Our virtualized storage platform was built from the ground up to be agile and efficient to address the limitations of traditional storage arrays for utility infrastructures. As a pioneer of thin provisioning and other storage virtualization technologies, we design our products to reduce power consumption to help companies meet their green computing initiatives, and to cut storage total cost of ownership. 3PAR customers have used our self-managing, efficient, and adaptable utility storage systems to reduce administration time and provisioning complexity, to improve server and storage utilization, and to scale and adapt flexibly in response to continuous growth and changing business needs. For more information, visit the 3PAR Website at:

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