Hitachi Vantara Infrastructure Services: Storage Implementation and Data Migration
As it develops new online education applications and resources, Guizhou Radio & TV University must effectively manage ever-increasing volumes of unstructured data.
Hitachi Content Platform provides a versatile, scalable hybrid cloud platform for storing and protecting teaching materials and video content.
Managed by the same leadership and staff, Guizhou Radio & TV University and Guizhou Vocational & Technical College operate together as an innovative university that offers vocational education and lifelong learning. In addition to its 10 campuses and 87 offices across Guizhou Province in China, the university has also established a comprehensive online education network to support distance learning.
The teachers and students using this online network generate vast amounts of unstructured data. As a specialist in radio and TV broadcasting, the University's online course materials include not only documents and images, but also large quantities of audio and video footage.
To take the next step in developing its online education capabilities, the university decided to establish a cloud platform that could help it manage and protect this information for the benefit of current and future students.
The university began by exploring public cloud platforms, but initial trials identified a number of technical problems. Limited upstream bandwidth made it time-consuming and frustrating for teachers to upload new content to the platform, which hindered adoption. A lack of interoperability between different cloud providers caused reliability issues, which meant the platform was not always available for students. And a lack of enterprise-class data protection and governance features discouraged the university from entrusting important data to the public cloud.
To avoid the pitfalls of relying entirely on a public cloud platform, Guizhou Radio & TV University decided to build a hybrid cloud architecture, combining private and public cloud resources to gain the best of both worlds. To make this work, the university selected Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) to provide a private cloud object storage platform that it could run at its own data center.
Working with a professional services team from Hitachi Vantara and with Hitachi Vantara Partner Sichuan Changhong IT Information Products, the university implemented HCP and used its cloud object storage integration capabilities to connect to it to public cloud resources. Now, teachers can upload course materials and videos to HCP via the university's intranet, which offers much faster upload speeds. HCP then distributes the content onto the public cloud asynchronously, which means there is no need for teachers to wait around until uploads are complete.
Once content is uploaded, the public cloud acts as a content delivery network (CDN) for the teaching resources, enabling students to download them much more quickly, regardless of their physical proximity to the university network. In the event of downtime in the public cloud storage, the CDN will fail over to using the original copy of the data stored in HCP, ensuring high availability.
By mirroring all educational resources between the HCP private cloud and public cloud object storage, the university has also improved its disaster recovery capabilities. Moreover, since HCP provides mature and reliable data protection features, the university is able to use it as a single, standardized backup environment, eliminating the need for different departments to implement and manage their own backup tools.
With the hybrid cloud platform in place, Guizhou Radio & TV University has created an online education environment that offers a much smoother user experience for teachers and students alike. Instead of spending several hours waiting for their files to be copied into the cloud, teachers can complete uploads in minutes or seconds. HCP handles tasks such as video editing, transcoding and encryption in the background, allowing teachers to focus on what really matters: supporting their students.
With HCP, the university also has the confidence that all its data is stored and protected locally, in its own data center, as well as in the cloud. With robust, enterprise-class data protection tools built into the platform, HCP provides peace of mind that teachers' and students' information will be safe, even if the public cloud environment suffers an outage. In addition, by eliminating the need for different teams to develop and maintain their own backup solutions, the platform is expected to save more than $280K over the next five years.
Finally, the platform helps the university keep pace with innovation in the online education sector. Its developers use HCP to support rapid application development, enabling them to develop, test and integrate new teaching techniques and learning experiences into the online learning environment up to 25% faster, without having to worry about storage capacity. In fact, HCP will enable the university to expand to petabyte scale while reducing the time infrastructure teams need to spend on storage planning.
Senior Engineer at Guizhou Radio & TV University Network Center, Hua Qi, concludes: "Hitachi Content Platform provides the stability of an enterprise-level storage platform, as well as excellent data protection and compliance capabilities. Hitachi Vantara's professional services team gave us the vital support we needed to set up this platform and get the project online quickly."
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Hitachi Content Platform provides the stability of an enterprise-level storage platform, as well as excellent data protection and compliance capabilities. Hitachi Vantara’s professional services team gave us the vital support we needed to set up this platform and get the project online quickly.
– Hua Qi, Senior Engineer at Guizhou Radio & TV University Network Center