School System Implements Intelligent Clustered Operating System

Scale Computing, a developer and manufacturer of intelligent, scale-out storage solutions tailored to the virtualization and disaster recovery needs of the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), today announced that the Morgan County School System of Morgan County, Tenn. has deployed Scale’s data storage solution to enable virtualization and centralization of data for teachers, students and administrators. The deployment of Scale Computing’s storage solutions ultimately saved $32,000 in the school system’s budget.

Despite a traditionally tight budget, the teachers of the Morgan County School System emphasize technology in the classroom, and students are each given their own home drive for saving their work. Chris Rogers, technology coordinator for the school district, along with his team of two technicians started 2011 with a traditional infrastructure consisting of distributed physical servers at each school. As students and teachers increased their usage of data available in the classroom, the growing load on the physical servers quickly became an issue.

Rogers began exploring storage system options with a conscious eye on the school’s tight budget. The team considered a variety of systems, but found nothing but a high price tag and inadequacy. After detailed research, the Morgan County School System selected Scale’s solution powered by their Intelligent Clustered Operating System (ICOS™) technology, which enables users to create a single storage pool that spans multiple units of storage hardware without suspending services or migrating data. The ability to increase the size and performance of the storage in small, affordable increments was a good fit for the Morgan County School District.

“After meeting with Scale, it really broadened my perspective of what I needed – such as the ability to expand the storage,” said Rogers. “If I need to do a terabyte at a time, I can. And not only am I gaining storage, I’m gaining more CPU, caching and network ports to the storage. Other vendors were telling me I had to buy all that extra storage today. I didn’t need it – and it was doubling the price.”

The Scale solution provides Rogers and his team with the right amount of storage for their current needs, with the redundancy and availability they need. The additional capacity has allowed the district to grant students the ability to request up to 1 GB of storage on their home drives. The school system is also enjoying operational savings costs from virtualization.

“There’s a tremendous cost savings. We’ve got three power supplies now instead of sixteen,” said Rogers. “Plus my guys are spending less time worrying about servers. Now, I don’t have to touch it. It runs, it connects. It does what it’s supposed to do. This is one of the bigger projects I’ve implemented and the teachers and students have no idea anything even happened. That’s the way it is supposed to be.”

Rogers hopes to soon implement wider availability to students’ data with a cloud storage feature that would open up access to their data that’s stored on the Scale solution from home – or anywhere they happen to be working.