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University Shrinks Physical Footprint with Innovative Tech Infrastructure

Posted on: August 23rd, 2016 by Daniella Lundsberg

Purdue University is a leading academic institution, with more than 70,000 students. Its programs have produced multiple Nobel Prize winners, Fortune 500 CEOs, Super Bowl MVPs, Grammy Award winners, and Pulitzer Prize winners. Furthermore, Purdue is a leader in IT technology innovation, having the largest campus infrastructure for research and the nation’s fastest campus supercomputer. The IT department at Purdue is integral to campus operations, supporting applications for payroll and employee management, student information management, student registration, and online educational programs.

The university has two business data centers at its main campus that support its SAP systems; one for production and another for development and testing, with redundancy set up between the two sites. The hardware in both data centers was due for lifecycle replacement, so Purdue decided to consider not only other hardware options, but changes to its entire infrastructure. It also wanted to virtualize the environment to help increase efficiency and reduce space.

“We were primed for a paradigm shift in how we do business. We had challenges with power, cooling, and space in the data centers,” explains Dan Schumacher, director of hardware services and operations at Purdue. “We were also running various UNIX servers. We wanted to standardize on a Linux platform, and we wanted to shrink the footprint at both data centers.”

Graduation to a New Tech Solution

Using HP Converged Infrastructure technologies, Purdue worked with American Digital and HP Technical Services to upgrade both of the data centers on its main campus in West Lafayette. The two data centers are separated by about a mile and connected by fiber links. For redundancy, Purdue runs continuous replication between the two EVA8400 storage systems using the HP Continuous Access EVA Software. To back up its SAP environment, it implemented HP Data Protector, a software-based solution that uses the HP StoreOnce deduplication engine to minimize backup and recovery times.

Increased Performance and Cost Savings

Today Purdue has reduced the time required for backups and restores in its SAP environment. Using HP Data Protector, Purdue can now take live snapshots of its SAP environment without having to take everything offline. “Taking live snapshots of SAP is extremely difficult, and HP Technical Services actually wrote code for HP Data Protector to enable these live snapshots,” explains Williams. “The other benefit is that this code is now included in the general release, so other customers have access to it as well.”

“With HP Data Protector, we can take a snapshot and clone our entire system without taking down the SAP environment, so users never lose access,” says Edward Evans, director of software services at Purdue.

“By reducing the hardware required for our SAP environment by more than 80 percent, we have also reduced our annual power and cooling costs by about $51,000,” said Schumacher.

To learn more about American Digital and its solutions, visit American Digital’s case studies.

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