Education and technology go hand-in-hand. For many years, schools and administrative entities have operated on-site data facilities and relied on network computers for a variety of tasks, including admission systems, e-mail, payroll and other HR systems. In the 21st century, school data centers are moving to secure off-site facilities that offer additional support services, providing extra cost savings. Additionally, moving data centers off-site releases physical space for other academic activities.
Like most other industries, education is concerned about the cost of data centers. Additional concerns include reliability and performance. Even the most minimal downtime can have a severe, negative effect on technology-based classroom activities. Another vital concern is security, as each organization endeavors to protect student privacy, including personal information and academic records.
Because the education industry utilizes a variety of data center resources, the industry will continue to require speed and reliability to deliver instructional content directly to educational facilities. That is why virtual classrooms are becoming commonplace and schools are searching for ways to move to virtual technology at an affordable cost.
It should be noted that Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) alone is not the answer because VDI on traditional hard disk storage is slow. That is not an option when every minute of teaching time is invaluable to students. WHIPTAIL offers instant access to virtual desktops with immediate response times – without taking a big bite out of the budget. Schools cannot afford to lose time, but can afford to support a virtual classroom with WHIPTAIL silicon storage solutions.
“WHIPTAIL has allowed us to deploy a Virtual Desktop solution without having to worry about I/O performance. This would have not really been possible with a traditional disk solution as the cost to us would have been prohibitive.” – Paul Kernohan, IT Manager, Kenton School
As an industry with stringent budgetary concerns, education is a prime candidate for lower-cost MLC Flash array deployments. WHIPTAIL’s silicon storage array runs on less than 200 watts and supports up to 12 TB of MLC Flash with 250,000 IOs in a small 2U array, fully populated by cost-effective MLC Flash drives. The WHIPTAIL array is tuned to reduce latency in high IO environments and is embedded with a proprietary operating system designed to overcome the write performance and longevity challenges typically associated with MLC Flash.
The WHIPTAIL solid-state storage solution behaves like a traditional storage array, effectively reducing hardware and software costs tied to alternative solutions and enabling students to realize maximum productivity in the classroom. WHIPTAIL offers schools the opportunity to easily adopt virtual technology at minimal cost while providing the high write and IO performance that is unattainable by hard disk storage arrays and required to support VDI.
“The education industry can benefit from VDI computing because large user populations need immediate access to the same networks and resources,” said Dan Crain, CEO of WHIPTAIL. “Successful VDI deployment is a challenge, though, because virtualized environments demand a substantial amount of data to move quickly, and many solutions require changes to the IT framework. At WHIPTAIL we meet these challenges with Flash storage arrays built for data performance and velocity that have the affinity to work within existing IT environments.”
In summary, replacing HDDs with WHIPTAIL arrays will eliminate data bottlenecks and access delays, problems common to large VDI deployments that use disk storage. Data will flow seamlessly with immediate response times. Students and professors will be able to access desktops and applications without interruption, providing an experience that is equal to or better than a local PC.