EMC Heritage Trust enables digital vision
With the challenge of digitizing, storing, and protecting its existing 100 terabytes of archive data, USEK started evaluating its options. “Everyone we talked to agreed EMC was the best,” says Ziad Eid, IT Director at USEK. His colleague Randa Al Chidiac, Executive Director of the USEK library, continues: “It was clear from the beginning that EMC was interested in what we do. It suggested we join the EMC Heritage Trust project. At the time, we couldn’t believe a commercial organization would offer such an initiative.”
The EMC Heritage Trust provides grants to local institutions striving to preserve artifacts under their care. Funding delivered through the initiative enabled USEK to store its digitized collection using EMC Isilon technology, migrating data from servers across the university as well as thousands of external hard disks.
“EMC really wanted to understand our storage challenges,” says Al Chidiac. “The team made several visits to the library and saw how we worked. Its approach struck a chord with us. It wasn’t just a sales pitch for a product: it passed on the message to all of us that EMC was genuinely interested in helping us preserve the heritage of Lebanon.”
Isilon technology will ensure that the library can accommodate expected growth of around 300 terabytes of data over the next five years. Working closely with EMC, USEK has also embarked on other projects, including building a robust disaster recovery system and delivering the benefits of a virtual desktop infrastructure to students. And, in addition to offering digitization services to other institutions in the region, USEK hopes to make its unique and rare collections available worldwide, and eventually publish materials online to provide a revenue stream for the university. This will help it continue its mission of securing the cultural heritage of Lebanon.