Collier County Public Schools Improves Education Technology Services With Violin Memory

Mountain View, Calif. -- 05/20/13
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Leading K-12 School District Accelerates SQL Server Applications and Delivers Standardized Online Testing to 45,000 Students with Violin’s Flash Memory Arrays

Violin Memory, Inc., provider of memory-based storage systems, has been selected by Collier County Public Schools, one of the largest and most technologically advanced K-12 school districts in the United States, to improve the delivery of education technology services for its 45,000 students and 7,000 employees. Violin’s Flash Memory Arrays accelerate the school district’s SQL Server applications, increase IT efficiency, and reduce costs while improving the end-user experience for students and faculty.

Staying Ahead of the Education Technology Curve
Collier County Public Schools operates a state-of-the-art IT infrastructure that holds more than one petabyte of data, including a massive Microsoft SQL Server data warehouse that supports online testing for its 45,000 students. After implementing quarterly assessment tests for every student one year ago, the district began to experience severe I/O latency issues despite using high-end SAN equipment. The IT department quickly realized its existing disk-based storage environment could not meet its demanding standards for performance.

Night and Day Performance Improvements
To solve the growing need for efficient, more cost-effective storage, the district replaced its traditional disk-based SAN with flash-based storage arrays from Violin Memory. Almost immediately, the Collier IT department saw the Violin solution effectively shape peak loads such as the district’s database environment, which their former Tier 1 storage would not have been able to support. In addition, the array effortlessly kept up with sustained transactions which were random reads and writes.

“As a school district, we have a small number of people carrying out many different tasks, so we are always looking at new technologies to be as efficient as possible,” said Tom Petry, director of technology for Collier County Public Schools. Petry’s IT department evaluated many storage vendors in the market and were very impressed with the large capacity and small footprint of the Violin 6000 and 3000 series arrays and blown away by their performance and ease of management. The district needed a storage solution that could handle its peak loads and give it room to grow, and found it in Violin Memory.

Increased Efficiency and Lower IT Costs
Violin storage arrays helped Collier County Public Schools condense its storage from various pools of 50-60 disks to less than a single rack of space, significantly reducing power and cooling costs while streamlining administration for the IT Department. The Violin Array’s breakthrough performance also eliminated the need to overprovision server hardware and software licenses, enabling the district’s IT Department to achieve approximately $200,000 in hardware savings alone by purchasing smaller servers and consolidating SQL Server instances.

Narayan Venkat, Vice President of Product Management for Violin Memory, said, “Leaders in education technology, like Collier County Public Schools, are taking huge strides in improving IT and business efficiency by implementing high performance storage solutions. Using Violin Memory Flash Array’s the school district is achieving a vision of providing its students and staff with the best application performance and reliability.”

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