In a bid to drive down internet infrastructure costs and improve download speed, the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is implementing a solution to provide 700GB of hard disk storage space across four campuses.
The upgrade will replace the 40GB of server-embedded cache the university has been using for the past five years.
Implementation of the NetCache-based content delivery solution from Network Appliance began in February and is expected to be finished by June 30 in time for the beginning of the second semester.
The solution will be accessible to all of QUT's 5000 staff and 40,000 students, about 4000 of whom access the cache at any one time during peak periods.
According to QUT project manager, internet access services IT service Peter Newman, the key objectives of the implementation are to improve web browsing performance and reduce Internet costs.
"Following implementation we expect to reduce the cost of Internet usage by at least 10% and speed up the download of the average file by a factor of 10," Newman said.
"In other words, under the new system a file, which currently takes 20 minutes to download from the Internet, will take only two from the cache."
The system also offers improved authentication for students, meaning students will type one less password when logging in.
After considering several other solutions, Newman said NetCache was the best fit for the university.
"We found the NetApp solution to be highly available, robust and manageable," Newman said.
"It was proven to be more secure in our operating environment, with a more complete feature set for the university's needs.
"The error-reporting facility and the ability for continued Internet access — even if one NetCache failed — were particularly important." Network Appliance reseller ASI solutions will provide integration and deployment services to QUT.
Simon Green, Network Appliance managing director Australia and New Zealand, believes that the NetCache offerings helps organisations, like QUT, to simplify data management, improve content delivery and lower total cost of ownership.
"Today's enterprise faces the competing goals of needing to drive more applications and traffic through their network while lowering their infrastructure and operating costs," Green said.