The Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne (ECAL), a top-ranked visual communication, art, and design university in Switzerland, has installed Sonnet's RackMac(TM) Pro rackmount enclosures and Twin 10G Dual-Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet Thunderbolt(TM) 2 adapters to support its new Mac Pro(R)-based virtual environment.
"After we squeezed all the useful life out of our Apple(R) Xserve(R) machines, we began migrating our virtualized workflow to a server platform based on Mac Pro cylinders. The next step was to find a solution for rackmounting and connecting them to our Cisco Nexus 10Gb network infrastructure," said David Tschudi, information services manager at ECAL. "Although the Mac Pro looks cool, the cylinder shape doesn't exactly lend itself to rackmounting. Sonnet Technologies offered the ideal solution. In fact, the migration has been so successful that we're now looking at replacing our HP virtual servers with the Mac Pro configuration, supported by the Sonnet gear."
ECAL purchased four new Mac Pro 6.1 cylinders and is using the Sonnet RackMac Pro, in tandem with the Sonnet Twin 10G adapters, to support the infrastructure. The duo version of the RackMac Pro lets ECAL securely mount two Mac Pros horizontally in a compact 4U enclosure. Mounted inside the RackMac Pro is a Twin 10G Thunderbolt adapter for each computer, providing lightning-fast connectivity to ECAL's 10Gb network. ECAL is planning to completely phase out its six Xserve servers and start using the other two Mac Pros in the RackMac Pro/Twin 10G configuration.
ECAL had long been operating in a virtualized environment under VMware's vSphere(R), which until recently managed ECAL's cluster of six Apple Xserve enterprise servers running an OS X(R) virtual machine server. ECAL also runs a cluster of four HP servers managed by Windows Server(R) VM. Thanks to the Sonnet support platform, not only was vSphere's ESXi hypervisor easy to install on the new Mac Pros, but the configuration of the servers offered savings by requiring only four VMware licenses (compared with the 12 licenses of the previous Xserve cluster). ECAL can run Linux, Windows(R), or OS X virtual machines all on one vSphere ESXi cluster and can take advantage of the Mac Pro's superior 128GB of virtualized RAM.
"ECAL has a rich heritage going all the way back to 1821 and is one of the top art and design universities in the world. Naturally, the school supports its students with the most advanced technology available, and we're honored to be a part of the system that helps these students reach their full potential," said Greg LaPorte, vice president of sales and marketing, Sonnet Technologies. "Now, with a professional, high-performance platform that properly rackmounts two Mac Pros in a 4U rack space and extends 10Gb Ethernet connectivity, ECAL is able to reap maximum efficiencies and benefits from its new Mac Pro-based virtual environment."
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