Joint Customer Story                                        McNeese State University                                      ...
“With a robust disaster recovery strategy backed by NetApp and VMware capabilities, our IT department is better prepared t...
Primary Data Center                                                                               Secondary Data Center   ...
“Working with NetApp Professional Services ultimately resulted in rapidly deploying a solution that immediately met our ne...
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McNeese State University Boosts Disaster Preparedness with NetApp and VMware


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Challenge: Brace for the threat of hurricanes and other potential disasters by proactively protecting university operations and infrastructure.

Solution: Implement a robust disaster recovery plan with NetApp FAS3210 and FAS2040 storage systems in primary and second- ary data centers and VMware for virtualization.

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McNeese State University Boosts Disaster Preparedness with NetApp and VMware

  1. 1. Joint Customer Story McNeese State University Boosts Disaster Preparedness with NetApp and VMwareAnother NetAppsolution delivered by: Customer Profile sity students fleeing from Hurricane KEY HIGHLIGHTS McNeese State University is located in Katrina in 2005, McNeese faced a hur- Industry southwestern Louisiana in Lake Charles, ricane closer to home when Hurricane Higher education with its freshwater marshes, scenic riv- Rita struck the Louisiana coast later ers, and warm sandy beaches. The uni- that year. The category 5 hurricane The Challenge versity, founded in 1939, has a current caused $12 billion in damage along the Brace for the threat of hurricanes enrollment of almost 9,000 students. At Gulf Coast and devastating damage to and other potential disasters by McNeese, students from 56 parishes, McNeese campus facilities and infra- proactively protecting university 34 states, and 49 countries can choose structure and disruption to university operations and infrastructure. from more than 75 undergraduate and operations. The Solution graduate degree programs. McNeese is “Just before the hurricane hit, our IT Implement a robust disaster a member of the University of Louisiana department relocated operations to recovery plan with NetApp® System, one of the largest public higher Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, but FAS3210 and FAS2040 storage education systems in the United States. maintaining operations was a struggle systems in primary and second- The Challenge without an offsite disaster recovery site,” ary data centers and VMware® Protecting Operations and says Chad Thibodeaux, chief informa- for virtualization. Infrastructure tion officer, McNeese State University. McNeese State University is committed “We had hoped to resume classes the Benefits to excellence in teaching and research following week, but the McNeese cam- Established critical replication across its 500-acre campus, including pus and most of Southwestern Louisiana between onsite and offsite data 68 buildings. The campus is located a lost power for two weeks. In addition, centers for disaster recovery mere 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, nearly every building on our campus Reduced physical servers which offers a great getaway for hard- sustained damages, ultimately costing from 30 to 5 through server working students, but also the potential tens of millions of dollars to repair.” virtualization each year for hurricanes. Through the remarkable determination of Accelerated recovery times the McNeese community, the university from hours to minutes Although the university provided shelter reopened and resumed a portion of its for New Orleans residents and univer- classes five weeks later.
  2. 2. “With a robust disaster recovery strategy backed by NetApp and VMware capabilities, our IT department is better prepared to manage the data center and maintain university operations in the event of another hurricane or other disaster.” Chad Thibodeaux Chief Information Officer, McNeese State University The university’s recovery effort demon- The Solution NetApp SnapMirror and VMware vCenter strated its resilience while sparking a Rapid Deployment and Quick ROI Site Recovery Manager to rapidly recover commitment to restructuring its disaster McNeese turned to NetApp Professional data and solidify the plan. recovery plan. The phased project Services for assistance in implementing involved establishing disk-based repli- The unified NetApp storage platform, NetApp FAS3210 storage systems in its cation processes that would protect running on Data ONTAP® 8.0 operating onsite data center. NetApp Rapid university data through a secondary in 7-Mode, offers a new level of flexibility Deployment Services for Storage Imple- site, eventually located remotely at a and cost efficiency to the university. mentation consultants first collaborated Louisiana Tech University data center. NetApp backup and recovery capabili- with McNeese storage administrators to Reliable replication practices would ties provide an important level of data design the layout of the storage control- help the university maintain operations protection for the university’s six aca- lers. The NetApp field engineers then and educational activities in the event of demic colleges, which include Business, fully configured, tested, and deployed another disaster. Moving the secondary Education, Engineering and Engineering the tailored NetApp solution. “Working data center to a remote location would Technology, Liberal Arts, Nursing, and with NetApp Professional Services ulti- also eliminate network outages that Science, plus the William J. Doré, Sr. mately resulted in rapidly deploying a resulted from an overzealous raccoon School of Graduate Studies. NetApp solution that immediately met our needs, population known to interfere with supports and protects mission-critical which saved us valuable time and on-campus electrical circuits. applications such as Blackboard Learn, money,” says Thibodeaux. Moodle Course Management System, McNeese also wanted the new storage The university’s growing VMware virtual and VMware Zimbra® Collaboration solution to help move its server virtual- server environment, supported by Server supporting 1,500 staff e-mail ization strategy forward, which would VMware vSphere® 5 and vCenter™, also accounts and 9,000 student accounts, further enhance the disaster recovery runs on the FAS3210 production storage Web servers, an extensive Red Hat plan by eliminating most of its physical system. Through the NetApp OnCom- Enterprise Linux® 5 and 6 environment, servers. Other important storage criteria mand® Virtual Storage Console, the IT and others. included the flexibility and scalability team uses Virtual Storage Console to to support future IT projects that would McNeese uses NetApp SnapMirror protect the local VMware environment. enable the IT staff to continue to support to replicate university data daily to The team leverages SnapMirror ® in the university’s important educational FAS2040 storage systems in the Louisi- combination with VMware vCenter Site mission and to do so cost effectively. ana Tech University data center for Recovery Manager to replicate applica- The university worked with CDW—a par- disaster recovery purposes, with a tions to the remote site. Using the inte- ticipant in the NetApp Partner Program dedicated connection that doesn’t grated disaster recovery solution, IT and provider of technology products compete with other network traffic such automates disaster recovery activities, and services for business, government, as its campus Internet. SnapMirror net- prioritizing related workloads. The team education, and healthcare—to select work compression reduces McNeese’s can test and verify the disaster recovery the right storage solution to meet current bandwidth utilization, decreases net- plan nondisruptively in a separate envi- and future storage requirements. work costs, accelerates data transfers, ronment, simulating a disaster and using
  3. 3. Primary Data Center Secondary Data Center Mission-critical Applications Blackboard Learn Moodle Course Management System Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, 6 VMware Zimbra Collaboration Server VMware vSphere 5 NetApp SnapMirror NetApp OnCommand VMware Site Recovery Manager Virtual Storage Console NetApp Snapshot technology VMware vCenter NetApp SnapRestore NetApp FAS3210 running on Data ONTAP 8.0 NetApp FAS2040 operating in 7-modeFigure1) McNeese State University Storage Infrastructure.The university’s growing VMware virtual server environment supported by VMware vSphere 5 and vCenter runs on the FAS3210 production storagesystem. Through the NetApp OnCommand Virtual Storage Console, the IT team uses Virtual Storage Console to protect the local VMware environment.The team leverages SnapMirror in combination with VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager to replicate applications to the remote site.and reduces recovery point objectives data availability on CIFS and NFS data. from 30 to 5, which reduces hardware(RPOs). The university protects data The NetApp Professional Services team costs while simplifying IT management.locally with NetApp Snapshot™ and also provided Snapshot configuration Also important, server virtualization fur-SnapRestore® technologies. on volumes. A complete service handoff ther supports the university’s disaster that included documentation and recovery plan.Business Benefits knowledge transfer, combined with freeRising to a New Level of Disaster NetApp University training, equipped In the past, if a physical server wentPreparedness down, the university typically spent the McNeese IT staff to maximizeMcNeese State University’s core values NetApp data protection and disaster hours rebuilding the operating systeminclude academic excellence, student recovery capabilities. and reloading data. With NetApp Snap-success, university and community alli- shot and SnapRestore technologies andances, and fiscal responsibility. As a Cost efficiency is also at the center of Virtual Storage Console, it now takescomponent of these institutional goals, McNeese’s enhanced disaster recovery only minutes for point-in-time recovery.the organization is committed to “utiliz- plan. IP-based replication with Snap- Mirror enables the university to avoid Virtualizing mission-critical applicationsing the role of technology to increase expensive dual Fibre Channel–to-Ether- on NetApp storage makes it much eas-the efficiency and effectiveness of net switches at its primary and secondary ier and faster to bring systems and ser-campus operations.” data centers. SnapMirror disk-to-disk vices back up, if needed. “By virtualizing“With a robust disaster recovery strat- replication also eliminated most of on NetApp storage, even in the extremeegy backed by NetApp and VMware McNeese’s costly, time-consuming tape case of an evacuation where everyonecapabilities, our IT department is better backup processes. Virtual Storage Con- is scattered, I feel confident that weprepared to manage the data center sole helps the university achieve greater could continue to provide vital IT servicesand maintain university operations in returns on its VMware environment. such as e-mail and learning systems tothe event of another hurricane or other Snapshot and SnapRestore technolo- our instructors, administrators, anddisaster,” stresses Thibodeaux. “We gies accelerate recovery times and students,” notes Thibodeaux.learned valuable lessons from Hurricane reduce the resource requirements of IT Helping Students and the UniversityRita about the importance of investing staff members tasked with recovering Succeedin the right technologies and establish- inadvertently deleted data. The commitment of the McNeese facultying the best practices that make sure Additional Protection with Server and staff to excellence in higher educa-that our vital university systems remain Virtualization tion remains steadfast. The universityprotected no matter what.” McNeese is achieving additional cost motto of “Excellence with a PersonalBecause it used the NetApp Rapid efficiencies and disaster recovery Touch” extends beyond the classroomDeployment Services for Storage improvements through server virtualiza- to the IT department, where the teamImplementation base service, the uni- tion on NetApp storage, enabled by will continue to respond to the needs ofversity benefited from complete verifi- tight integration between NetApp and students and deliver the innovative ser-cation testing for hardware and cluster VMware technologies. To date, the uni- vices that help them succeed in thefailover, as well as demonstration of versity has reduced its physical servers 21st-century global economy.
  4. 4. “Working with NetApp Professional Services ultimately resulted in rapidly deploying a solution that immediately met our needs, which saved us valuable time and money.” Chad Thibodeaux Chief Information Officer, McNeese State University “We’ve bounced back from hurricanes, SOLUTION COMPONENTS budget cuts, and other significant chal- lenges with a world-class data center NetApp Products Third-Party Products that enables us to reduce our IT costs NetApp FAS3210 and FAS2040 Blackboard Learn while bracing for potential hurricanes with storage systems Moodle Course Management System tenacity,” says Thibodeaux. “Additionally, Data ONTAP 8.0 operating in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, 6 the flexibility and scalability inherent in 7-Mode NetApp storage will allow us to embark VMware vSphere 5, vCenter on new IT projects and services that will Snapshot technology VMware Zimbra Collaboration Server help us remain competitive in the chang- SnapRestore ing higher-educational environment.” VMware vCenter Site Recovery SnapMirror Manager OnCommand Virtual Storage Console Partner CDW Protocols CIFS NFS NetApp creates innovative storage and © 2012 NetApp, Inc. All rights reserved. No portions of this document may be reproduced without prior written consent of NetApp, Inc. data management solutions that deliver Specifications are subject to change without notice. NetApp, the NetApp logo, Go further, faster, Data ONTAP, OnCommand, SnapMirror, outstanding cost efficiency and accelerate SnapRestore, and Snapshot are trademarks or registered trademarks of NetApp, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Linux is a business breakthroughs. Discover our registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. VMware, vSphere, and Zimbra passion for helping companies around the are registered trademarks and vCenter is a trademark of VMware, Inc. All other brands or products are trademarks or registered trademarks of world go further, faster at their respective holders and should be treated as such. CSS-6566-0712 Go further, faster ®