Case Study: The Wharton School

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Delivering a Better Storage Experience at Half the Cost

At The Wharton School of Business, the needs of these end users vary as widely as their fields of study, making it exceedingly difficult for Joe Cruz, the IT Technical Director and his team to deploy and manage a consistent storage infrastructure for all end users. With Nasuni’s single solution for primary storage, backup and offsite replication, Cruz has simplified Wharton’s IT, solved their data growth pain, and improved business continuity while reclaiming valuable IT resources.

  • Data is growing at an accelerated rate
  • Need to improve DR and business continuity
  • Current solutions are complex and costly
  • Scale storage capacity at the rate data is growing
  • Improve data protection and disaster recovery
  • Simplify IT infrastructure and reduce costs
Nasuni Solution
  • Storage capacity when they need it
  • One solution for primary storage, data protection & DR
  • Local performance for end users and applications

The Wharton School’s Pain

Joe Cruz is the IT Technical Director of the Core Systems team and is responsible for Wharton’s operations computing environment which includes the data center, file servers, database servers, and Active Directory.

Scaling with Storage Demands
One of the biggest challenges for Cruz and the Core Systems team at Wharton has been scaling storage capacity to keep up with the demands of their end users who are creating more and more content while deleting less. Provisioning primary storage is challenging, but scaling an infrastructure that ensures the data is protected and replicated offsite is extremely expensive and very complex.

“The biggest surprise was how quickly we could scale and how quickly people adopted it. Adding more storage requires a non-trivial amount of money. When other divisions saw how Nasuni can instantly provision storage, they said, ‘Yes, we want that.’”

-Joe Cruz, IT Technical Director

Infrastructure Complexity
Cruz and his team have deployed and continue to manage a robust stack of technologies to protect their end users’ data. Outside of IT, few people understand how hard and costly it is to guarantee fast access to fully protected data. Wharton’s systems require a tremendous amount of attention to ensure that they are all working and doing what they are supposed to do.

Complicating things for Cruz is the decentralized nature of IT at Wharton: each department and division within the school has unique requirements. The solutions that Cruz and his team deploy have to be flexible enough so they can be tailored to match these different needs but still deliver consistent levels of access and protection to all end users.

Business Continuity
Disaster recovery and business continuity are key initiatives for the Core Systems team at Wharton. Before Nasuni, Joe Cruz and his team had built a stack of hardware and software technologies to protect their end users against a disaster or outage that would prevent them from accessing their data. However, due to the complexity and inconsistencies of stitching together these different technologies, the Core Systems team was unable to guarantee 100% reliability. They were looking for better way to protect their data that guaranteed business continuity.


By deploying Nasuni virtual machines within Wharton’s existing VMware environment, Joe Cruz improved the services his team provides to their end users by making them better and more consistent:

  • Storage capacity when they need it with Nasuni’s on-demand scaling
  • One solution for primary storage, data protection, & DR
  • Guaranteed business continuity for data stored in Nasuni

With Nasuni, Joe Cruz has simplified Wharton’s IT infrastructure, solved their data growth issues, and improved business continuity across all the departments.

Why Nasuni

Joe Cruz chose Nasuni because of Nasuni’s ability to deliver:

  • Scaling – Nasuni’s on-demand provisioning gives The Wharton School capacity when they need it
  • Simplicity – Nasuni deployed quickly and delivers primary storage with built-in backup and offsite protection in a single solution
  • Protection – Nasuni delivers no risk of data loss, drastic reduction in downtime and proactive monitoring

Nasuni eliminated the headaches with data growth and significantly simplified the IT infrastructure across Wharton, while giving Cruz and his team centralized control, true business continuity and a big reduction in costs.

“Nasuni was a no brainer for us because when we factored in everything Nasuni replaces – backups, replication, VPN, storage – we’re saving us about 50% a year. That doesn’t include the all the FTE time we’ve reclaimed from not having to deploy and babysit all those systems.”

-Joe Cruz, IT Technical Director

Wharton Brick Wall


Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. The School has more than 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and an alumni network of 88,000 graduates.

“I can’t emphasize this enough – Nasuni has simplified our infrastructure, improved performance and reduced our IT footprint. Since deploying Nasuni, we’ve replaced Double Take, BitLocker, the VPN tunnel and we also don’t do tape backup or SAN storage replication anymore.”

-Joe Cruz, IT Technical Director

Wharton Ben

“Nasuni is what storage should have been all along: a comprehensive storage solution with built-in data protection, disaster recovery, file access from multiple sites, precise control over data retention, and the RTO after a disaster is reduced to minutes!”

-Joe Cruz, IT Technical Director