Northwestern cuts data storage costs in half with Komprise

“We didn’t know what the data was, who owned it, or when it was last used…
Now we set policies to move data off to cheaper media. We save ~$330,000 a year.”

—IT manager, Northwestern University


With its strong research focus, Northwestern University generates massive data. When faculty members initiate research, data goes first to a central pool. Research data holdings have extended to billions of files and many petabytes of unstructured data, such as medical imaging and data from other fields. The University’s growing challenges were storage capacity and classification.

We didn’t know what the data was, who owned it, or when it was last used,” said IT manager Kenneth-David Turner. “We needed to stay ahead of capacity demands and to be compliant.”

They needed a solution to help solve the following issues:


After trying other solutions, including writing manual scripts, the University eventually chose and deployed Komprise. A key feature was its use of open standards, making Komprise “storage agnostic.” Northwestern deployed Komprise “observers” and proxies at its datacenter with a director offsite at the supplier site. Each working group set their own policies, (e.g., retention time and exclusion of certain directories) and data is automatically moved off to cheaper media. “The cost per terabyte in object/cloud is two-thirds cheaper than what we pay on primary storage,” says Turner.

The Register IT Buyer’s Guide

Analytics-Driven Storage Management


“One of the most invaluable things is the intelligence Komprise has given us,” said Turner. “It allows us to both identify the right data and move it too.” With Komprise, Northwestern was able to achieve the following results:

  • Reduce storage costs from $1.1M to $680K/year
  • Conduct data capacity planning and set flexible policies
  • Create custom archiving plans for different research groups
  • Move cold data from Isilon to Elastic Cloud Storage and AWS Deep Glacier cloud storage
  • Zero data access disruption to researchers

Everyone is really happy with Komprise. The intelligence it’s giving us and the cost
savings we’re seeing are tremendous.


Komprise empowers businesses to take control of their data with no interference to applications, users, or hot data. Komprise Intelligent Data Management is the foundation for analytics-driven data management which is key to putting data in the right place at the right time across all storage. Analyze, move, and easily find your data with Komprise.


The Register IT Buyer’s Guide

Analytics-Driven Storage Management

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