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Press Release

Texas School District Gives EMC VNX an A+

School District Replaces Dell Compellent with EMC VNX Unified Storage in 100% Virtualized Environment

HOPKINTON, Mass., August 17, 2011 - 

EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) today announced that Alvarado Independent School District, an Alvarado, Texas-based district serving 3,200 K-12 students, has replaced its Dell Compellent storage environment with EMC® VNX® unified storage to increase performance and efficiency while accelerating its journey to cloud computing. Alvarado is using EMC VNX with VMware® vSphere® and VMware View™ virtualization solutions to achieve a 100% virtualized server environment and roll out a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to students.

Customer Benefits:

  • Return on Investment Achieved – Alvarado is able to spend less on hardware and IT support while delivering more services to students and reducing its data center footprint.
  • Increased performance—Alvarado can handle dramatic "boot surges" using a "FLASH 1st" strategy when hundreds of students simultaneously access the EMC unified storage infrastructure, which is equipped with Flash drives (also known as SSDs) and EMC FAST Cache.
  • Increased efficiency—Alvarado's IT staff can manage its virtualized and physical server infrastructure and VDI through a single-pane view with EMC Unisphere®, saving the district time and money.
  • Improved agility—Alvarado's private cloud enables it to fully virtualize its server infrastructure and roll out virtual desktops to its students from laptops, iPads, iPhones and essentially any other intelligent devices.

Alvarado's virtualized IT environment was growing so rapidly that its prior Dell Compellent storage infrastructure was not able to keep up with performance and scalability demands. This was affecting its students' ability to quickly access online resources. Alvarado was also reaching technical limits with its legacy storage for how fast it could virtualize and deploy its cloud infrastructure.

"When we replaced Dell Compellent with EMC VNX unified storage, the barriers to virtualization dissolved—our cloud finally began to blossom," said Kyle Berger, Executive Director of Technology Services, Alvarado. "We currently provide a laptop to every student from 4th through 8th grade. In our plans to expand our investment in program, we are working to make all of the laptops VDI enabled. Through the testing of this program, we learned that every time students change classes and powered up their laptops, hundreds of boots storm our infrastructure and there's an incredible activity spike. With EMC VNX and our 'FLASH 1st' strategy using FAST Cache, our storage infrastructure will simply absorb these surges without affecting users. VNX unified storage gives us a solid foundation so when that bell rings and the laptops come on, we're ready to teach our students."

Berger commented, "These improvements in performance and agility have opened the door for us to achieve a nearly 100% virtualization environment within18 months With VMware View and EMC VNX, we can provide access to virtual desktops from laptops, iPads, iPhones and essentially any other intelligent device. We already have 100 virtual desktops online and expect to reach 2,000 users in 18 months. The excellent integration between VMware and EMC VNX is also helping us drive faster toward the cloud."

"With virtualization and decreased reliance on physical hardware, we expect to spend substantially less on hardware and IT support while delivering more services to students," said Berger. "In fact, I predict that my data center will shrink from what is now a massive room to just a few racks."

"The EMC Unisphere management tool gives us a single pane to manage our infrastructure easily – whether it's virtual machines, virtual desktops, physical servers or storage," continued Berger. "EMC offers a holistic approach, excellent integration between our VNX and VMware infrastructures and the tools we need to manage this transformation efficiently and rapidly. Plus, we get the power and reliability of EMC, which provides us with plenty of resources, expertise and support to achieve our adoption of cloud."

Alvarado ISD stores its cloud and physical infrastructure on EMC VNX unified storage. The district's most performance-intensive applications such as Microsoft Office, AutoCad and video editing run on VNX Flash drives and use EMC FAST Cache for maximum performance. EMC Unisphere software provides a simple and intuitive interface for provisioning, monitoring and managing storage for virtual and physical servers. Alvarado ISD's environment is virtualized using VMware vSphere. Alvarado ISD is also rolling out VDI with VMware View and VCE Vblock™ Infrastructure Platforms.

About EMC

EMC Corporation is a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service. Fundamental to this transformation is cloud computing.  Through innovative products and services, EMC accelerates the journey to cloud computing, helping IT departments to store, manage, protect and analyze their most valuable asset — information — in a more agile, trusted and cost-efficient way. Additional information about EMC can be found at

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Katryn McGaughey

EMC, VNX, and Unisphere are registered trademarks or trademarks of EMC Corporation. VMware, vSphere, and VMware View are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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