Willem Kuypers, Head of IT for Hénallux College, has been using Belnet Storage since 2018. We asked him a few questions so we could better understand the reasons for his choice.
The Namur-Liège-Luxembourg college has more than 6,500 students spread over ten sites in the Province of Namur, Liège and the Province of Luxembourg. It is part of two academic centres: the Namur Centre and the Liège-Luxembourg Centre. Hénallux signed up for the Belnet Storage service in 2018. It is a service that Mr Willem Kuypers, IT Service Manager (e-learning unit), chose primarily for its reasonable price and the reliability of the network between Belnet and the different Hénallux sites. He tells us a bit more about it.
"We have also tested storage spaces outside Belnet, but nothing was as attractive as Belnet for what we were looking for."
Why is having a data storage service such as Belnet Storage important for Hénallux?
For our backup strategy, we had to find a storage facility outside the College that was easy to access and, most importantly, had good speed. During one of the meetings with our counterparts at Belnet, it became apparent that the NFS space is not considered external to our College in terms of bandwidth. So we can communicate at 10 GB with the backup.
Can you explain why?
Our speed is limited by Belnet to 5 GB, but the Belnet firewall is configured to 10 GB. What is interesting is that the decrease to 5 only happens once you leave the Belnet network.
We have also tested storage spaces outside Belnet, but nothing was as attractive as Belnet for what we were looking for. Either the speed was not there, the configuration was complicated, or the price was exorbitant.
How did the service configuration go?
We had assistance with our configuration from Belnet. The online space that shows the storage locations also gives a good view of what we have. We also had help with the upgrade of the NFS platform last year. They even phoned us to see if the migration had gone well.
What do you think are its biggest advantages?
"With a speed of 10 GB, the stability of the network between Hénallux and Belnet is also an important advantage. We also have the ability to take snapshots".
First of all, the price, which is very moderate in relation to the disk space we use (only the capacity used is charged).
Secondly, Belnet gives us the certainty that our data remains stored in Belgium and that access to this data is secure (data is stored in three data centres in Belgium).
With a speed of 10 GB, the stability of the network between Hénallux and Belnet is also an important advantage. We also have the ability to take snapshots of the volumes from the migration to the new structure.
What types of volumes do you use and why?
Thanks to the platform, we can easily create new volumes in accordance with our needs. NFS type volumes are easy to configure.
How do you see the future in terms of data management?
We are still looking for 'append only' storage. This is storage space on which you cannot delete data, only add it.
If Belnet can offer us that, it would really be a bonus. At the same time, we are still looking to optimise storage space to find a good balance between archiving and backup. With GDPR, we can no longer keep data indefinitely.
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