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future-ready IT infrastructure

Faced with ageing hardware, storage bottlenecks, and replication troubles, the UK further education college wanted to refresh its IT infrastructure – in the smartest possible way.

Northampton College engaged CSI (formerly Tectrade) to refresh its systems – and in the process, address growing concerns around IT availability, performance and complexity.

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Full and part-time students at the college – one of the largest in the South Midlands

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Students who pass their qualifications at Northampton College

1973

The college has been running for nearly 50 years having been established in 1973

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challenge

Its existing hardware – running the college’s essential applications – was ageing, and no longer fully supported.

Its storage infrastructure was prone to bottlenecks and it was experiencing replication issues between its production and DR sites.

The college was keen to find a solution that would address every one of these issues, while simplifying day-to-day administration and management.

SOLUTION

The CSI team proposed a solution that including the following benefits:

  • Boosting system performance and availability – by installing new servers at Northampton’s production and DR sites, and re-energising its existing VMware virtual environment
  • Simplifying system management – by deploying an IBM Storwize device at each site, and establishing a new virtualized storage environment
  • Making smarter use of storage space – by taking advantage of the devices’ embedded compression and automated tiering tools
  • Ousting replication issues – by connecting the new servers and Storwize devices with fibre channel networking

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The set up and configuration was done amazingly quickly, leaving ample time for knowledge transfer to take place.

Richard Garbutt, ICT Services Manager – Northampton College

outcomes

Northampton College’s refreshed, virtualised infrastructure has given the institution new levels of performance, availability and flexibility – preparing the college for today’s and tomorrow’s demands.

With greater storage capacity – as well as new tiering and data compression capabilities – the college now has much greater room to grow.

The college’s IT team now spends less time on storage management, thanks to the simple, browser-based GUIs of its newly virtualised environment.

Faster networking has resolved the college’s replication issues – helping to ensure its critical data is always well protected, and recoverable in the event of a systems failure.

The college’s new servers have improved the performance of its existing VMware virtual environment, and in turn, its critical applications.

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About our client

northampton

Northampton College, which opened in 1973, is one of the leading colleges in the country and the leading provider of further education in the South East Midlands.

They offer a range of courses for students of all ages on full or part time study programmes, with options to study entirely from home with distance learning courses.

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