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Connect for Education Chooses Hybrid Combination of Panasas Private Cloud and Amazon Public Cloud Storage

Panasas Solution Meets Requirements for Distributed Learning Company's Business and Beats Competition with Overall Lower Total Cost of Ownership

FREMONT, Calif. – Feb. 24, 2010Panasas®, Inc., the leading provider of high-performance storage solutions, today announced that Connect for Education, Inc. has chosen the Panasas ActiveStor™ parallel storage system to consolidate its storage and support the growth of its distributed learning solution. Connect for Education chose a hybrid data storage architecture using a combination of Panasas private cloud clustered NAS systems, plus public cloud storage through Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) to handle files and databases. The Panasas storage solution enabled the company to manage more storage with existing IT resources. Based on extensive analysis, the Connect for Education team was able to quantify that the Panasas solution delivered a lower cost of ownership than its competitors. Connect for Education's mission is to create eLearning materials that are widely available, fully-supported, affordable, engaging, and memorable. The company assists over 200,000 students in 1,500 colleges and universities nationwide with their electronic curriculum needs.

Connect for Education's purchase was based on a five-year life cycle management plan. The company predicted it would average 1.5-2TB of storage growth per year. Therefore, the company needed a storage solution that could easily partition storage and scale without adding IT headcount, more power, or servers. They also required a storage solution that was easy to manage with an open protocol so all of its enterprise servers could access centralized data.

"After we conducted an extensive needs assessment, we determined our key metric was that we did not want to use the iSCSI protocol because this meant we would have to dedicate a LUN to a particular server," said Luis Velazquez, CIO at Connect for Education. "This would require adding headcount to our staff, beachhead servers, plus more power and resources that we couldn't afford."

Velazquez continued, "We also conducted a Functional Needs Analysis to ensure that our requirements were sound. It is critical for us to have the ability of a 'plug and play' storage capability that integrates into our Windows Domain via a seamless fabric. Panasas' 'plug and play' storage capability delivered this and more."

Connect for Education has two locations. Their corporate headquarters has 9TB of storage and their data center, within walking distance from headquarters, has 18TB of storage. Prior to Panasas, Connect for Education backed all data to tape, which was a tedious, resource-intensive task process. "Without the Panasas system, a potential failure in the data center would have been a problem because data restores would have taken up to five hours and the system would have had to be taken offline. Instructors and students would have been directly affected by every minute of latency," said Velazquez. "Our solid reputation, built over many years, as well as our end users' experience would have been negatively impacted. With Panasas as a core component of our overall IT architecture, we can reimage the server and be up and running in less than 30 minutes with zero downtime, which gives us and our customers a superb level of service assurance."

Overall, Panasas offered Connect for Education a solution that will meet the current and future storage needs for its business while saving the company money over time. "Cost was just one factor in our decision," said Velazquez. "Technical feasibility, system reliability, support quality, and overall simplified management were also extremely important. Panasas met all of our stringent requirements without the need to add IT staff and we have confidence in knowing we won't have to make any major adjustments for the next few years."

About Connect for Education

Connect for Education's mission is to create eLearning materials that are widely available, fully-supported, affordable, engaging, and memorable. The company seeks to empower instructors and students by providing customizable, learner-centered content, and robust assessment and administrative tools. Connect for Education is an award-winning designer, developer, publisher, and distributor of world-class accredited courses, training programs, and services used in-classroom, online, or in blended environments in over 1500 colleges and universities in the United States since 1999. For more information, please visit www.connect4education.com.

About Panasas

Panasas, Inc., the leader in high-performance scale-out NAS storage solutions, enables enterprise customers to rapidly solve complex computing problems, speed innovation and bring new products to market faster. All Panasas solutions leverage the patented PanFS™ storage operating system to deliver exceptional performance, scalability and manageability. Panasas systems are optimized for demanding storage environments in the energy, government, finance, manufacturing, bioscience and higher education industries. For more information, visit www.panasas.com.

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Panasas, Inc. Media Contact
Angela Griffo
Trainer Communications
panasas@trainercomm.com
(949) 842-7695