• Press Release

    August 14, 2012

    Toronto District School Board Calls on EMC s VNX Data Domain to Advance Education Initiatives

    Canada’s Largest School District Lowers Capacity Requirements by 32% and Boosts Performance for Microsoft Applications by 21%

    HOPKINTON, Mass. - August 14, 2012 -

    EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) today announced that The Toronto District School Board (TDSB), the largest school board in Canada and fourth largest district in North America, has transformed its 325-terabyte storage infrastructure with EMC® VNX® unified storage and EMC Data Domain® deduplication storage systems for backup and recovery with the help of EMC Residency Services. Through storage consolidation, Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization and a FLASH 1st strategy, TDSB, running the Microsoft Productivity Suite, is achieving dramatic improvements in performance and efficiency while enhancing student learning and teacher collaboration. Leveraging a, FLASH 1st strategy to combines a small amount of Flash capacity with the FAST Suite, has transformed the way TDSB configures its IT environment. As TDSB grows, it expects a 38% reduction in Flash tier costs with new storage efficiency enhancements.

    Customer Benefits:

    • Reduced Footprint & Energy Costs—As a result of server consolidation with Hyper-V and a transition from an all SAS configuration to a FLASH 1st  strategy, TDSB saw a reduction in capacity requirements by 32% and a decrease in energy expenses by 22%
    • Better Performance for Microsoft Applications—TDSB's FLASH 1st strategy has resulted in an overall storage performance increase of 21%, powering faster Microsoft SQL transactions and improved collaboration among staff and students.
    • Increased Backup Efficiency—Using EMC Data Domain deduplication storage systems, TDSB's data backup storage requirements have been decreased by over 90%.

    Customer Challenges and Solution:

    TDSB is comprised of 600+ schools, 250,000 students and 40,000 staff members. With tight budgets and rapid data growth, TDSB needed to lower its cost per terabyte and increase storage density without requiring additional data center space in order to continue to provide a high level of IT services to faculty, staff and students. TDSB faced challenges with its backup windows, which were running into school hours and impacting performance.

    Residents from EMC Global Services provided skills support and knowledge transfer, enabling TDSB to transform its IT infrastructure with EMC VNX. Previous disparate Block-level and network-attached storage (NAS) were consolidated onto a single, unified VNX solution, running its mission-critical applications, including Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, Oracle, SharePoint, Office, OCS, and Dot Net Nuke (CMS) as well as SAP. EMC Residency Services helped speed time to value of TDSB's new technology implementation and improved the management and support of its information infrastructure.

    By employing a FLASH 1st strategy on their VNX, TDSB has seen an increase in performance and a substantial improvement in storage efficiency. Previously, the IT team had to purchase an abundance of Fibre Channel drives, with some being underutilized while others were over-subscribed. With Fully Automated Storage Tiering for Virtual Pools (FAST VP) and FAST Cache along with a mix of Flash and high-capacity, cost effective disk drives, the data is automatically placed on the most appropriate drive type, saving valuable resource time and smoothing out unexpected bursts in activity. TDSB credits the FLASH 1st strategy and Hyper-V virtualization for the enhanced management simplicity and overall reduction in both CapEx and OpEx.

    In addition, TDSB replaced its tape backup environment with EMC Data Domain deduplication storage systems, resulting in reduced backup times and a decrease in backup storage requirements by over 90%.

    Customer Quotes:

    Peter Singh, Senior Manager, IT Operations, Toronto District School Board

    "EMC's VNX unified storage has the best performance and efficiency at a very cost-effective price. It integrates with Microsoft Hyper-V, which is crucial to our cloud strategy, and with its higher performance, automated storage tiering, and thin provisioning, VNX was a no-brainer."

    "Implementing a 'FLASH 1st' strategy on VNX helped us attain a greener data center, reducing our storage space by 32% and decreasing our power cost by 22%. We actually received a rebate from our electric company because of the savings.”

    "EMC's Residency offering was one of the best services we've used from any vendor. To have an EMC expert on site, working as an extension of our staff, was priceless. It allowed us to move forward with the project much more quickly than doing everything ourselves."

    Zain Bhamjee, System Architect, Toronto District School Board

    "With a storage infrastructure that's reached 325 terabytes and growing, we're always looking for ways to leverage our IT dollars to bring the most value to our teachers and students. EMC's comprehensive array of storage, software, and services are enabling us to transform and achieve the most efficiency, performance, and scalability we've seen yet. Additionally, the new features for the VNX family, including lower starting costs for Flash configurations, are exciting additions to these existing advantages--we're looking forward to reaping the cost and efficiency benefits of these new capabilities."

    "Tasks that once took five clicks now get done in one with Unisphere. We're supporting our 325-terabyte storage environment with less than one and a half FTEs. Most shops would need three to five FTEs to manage an infrastructure our size."

    Additional Resources:

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