UMD Storage Refresh Project

Illustration: Storage
February 28, 2017

The ITSS engineering team is working on a project to refresh campus central storage.

UMD central storage consists of two Storage Area Networks (SANs), one production SAN and one disaster recovery SAN, to house about 300 Terabytes (TB) of data and to support about 400 servers. These data and servers are the backbone of the UMD campus computing infrastructure.

Project Factors

The storage was put into production in 2012 and support for it will expire in January, 2018. Our project team needs to move fast to put the new gear into place by that date. In addition to the fast evolving technology and its large cost, other factors complicate the project including our data center space, the available power supply, and the campus storage needs for surveillance cameras.

2 Possible Directions

The team has identified 2 possible directions for the project, to either

  1. team up with OIT (Office of Information Technology, UMTC's central IT) in the purchase, or
  2. pursue our own RFP (Request For Proposal).

We are in the Proof of Concept testing phase with OIT. If the testing turns out to be successful, we might begin to build our disaster recovery data center and put part of the new storage in OIT. This will enable us to have a real sense disaster recovery data center for the first time. In addition, we can gain more bargaining power when purchasing a bigger amount of storage. On the other hand, if we do the RFP by ourselves, we will work with the University Purchase Office, the Office of the General counsel, etc to identify a vendor to work with us.

Either way, we expect to have a materialized solution by the end of summer 2017.