From an infrastructure point-of-view, the real-time environment and the amount of data that the Moodle e-learning platform creates required the ITSC to establish a new level of storage and information management.
So HKBU started to look for a storage solution that would be both scalable and reliable to meet its disaster recovery needs, that is, to serve as a crucial backup of real-time information generated by the Moodle platform.
The data management infrastructure will be able to control our ever-growing information and successfully optimise our disaster recovery system to ensure a secure e-learning and paperless education environment, Leung says.
By putting a sophisticated information management infrastructure in place, we are confident of increasing the utilisation rate of the Moodle-based e-learning platform and let more teachers and students enjoy its extraordinary benefits.
Unified storage solution
To meet the needs of data storage, management and protection, in March last year, the ITSC deployed NetApps unified storage solution to support its campus-wide Moodle e-learning platform.
The storage solution, consisting of storage hardware, software tools and services, enables HKBU to enhance its data management infrastructure by taking control of its ever-growing information. It also optimises the IT shops disaster recovery system to ensure a secure e-learning and paperless education environment.
A NetApp FAS3040 storage system was installed in the ITSC to address multiple data management needs, enabling the university to back up and recover all the data on the e-learning platform and to eliminate the risk of data loss.
NetApps RAID-DP (dual-parity) technology allows double-disk failure to ensure that the system is always up and running. Application data is said to be able to recover in minutes instead of hours, with NetApp Snapshot software point-in-time copy technology.
The fast-increasing number of academic activities online can be managed without the need for additional manpower resources and the IT team no longer has the inconvenience of managing multiple storage systems, also resulting in lower total cost of ownership.
With the unified storage solution, we have created a secure and reliable system to achieve an innovative way of teaching and learning, Leung says.
HKBU was the first university in Hong Kong to implement a campus-wide Moodle-based e-learning initiative and NetApp has played a key part in putting in place a reliable solution to ensure this system works as it should, he says.
Zero data loss
The NetApp storage system began operating last March and is now storing three terabytes of course and other related materials. It can scale up to store a maximum of 24 terabytes.
Aiming to achieve zero data loss, Leungs team is presently working on new HKBUs projects, including a new disaster recovery site, with the capability of mirroring data to one or more storage systems and minimising downtime costs in case of a failure at the primary site.
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