Meet Atlas – The Storage Champion

ATLAS system installed at the District Office

Atlas was the Titan in ancient Greek mythology charged with holding up the heavens and the earth. Recently, Penn Manor has employed a modern-day Atlas to support the exploding storage requirements of a busy faculty, staff and student network. District system engineers have begun the installation and tuning of an Aberdeen Network Attached Storage (NAS) device that will be know as “Atlas”.

A NAS is essentially a big bucket of hard drives contained in a single box-like computer frame. NAS systems are build to withstand the failure of one or more hard drives, power supplies or other components and still continue functioning without the loss of any data. NAS units can be as small as a few hard drives or as large as systems with hundreds of drives. In our case, the Atlas NAS unit contains 48 Terabytes (TB) of hard drive storage. To put that number into better perspective, 48 TB is equal to 48,000 GB of space, which in turn is equal to approximately 10,212 DVD disks.

Beginning in August 2009, Atlas will provide consolidated server storage space for district staff, faculty and students. The Atlas server will be available from all district buildings and will replace the existing building specific file servers. While our main Atlas server will reside in the High School Information Technology office, an identical twin unit will be stationed at the district office. The twin will act as a fully redundant mirror server into which regular data “snapshots” are stored. In the event of a major failure of the main Atlas server, the mirror unit may be quickly brought online.