Southbank International School, an international independent school for 3 to 18 year-olds in the heart of London, replaced its outdated IT server architecture with SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure. The SimpliVity solution helps the school streamline IT operations, reduce TCO, and ensure high performance and availability for its administrative systems, classroom applications and virtual learning solutions.
Infrastructure Modernization and DR
Southbank’s aging IT infrastructure was becoming increasingly unreliable, costly and slow. The school relied on a mix of legacy server and storage systems distributed across three campuses, serving approximately 1000 users. Many of the systems were over ten years old and simply could not meet the performance demands of contemporary applications.
Administering the fragmented environment was a resource intensive, time-consuming undertaking involving several distinct management systems. Deploying new applications—allocating compute and storage resources—took days. Even worse, hardware failures were frequently disrupting core classroom applications. The school relied on manual data backup and recovery processes. It took hours or days to restore services as disks were copied, transported across campus and swapped out.
Chris Hilton, Director of Information Systems, initiated a data center consolidation and modernization program to improve the performance, reliability and economics of the school’s IT systems. After evaluating a number of potential options including solutions from Nutanix, Gridstore and HPE, Chris selected SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure for the school’s next-generation data center initiative.
SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure
SimpliVity’s hyperconverged infrastructure solution is specifically designed to meet the increased performance, scalability and agility demands of today’s data intensive, highly virtualized IT environments. The solution eliminates cost and complexity by consolidating a variety of IT functions—including compute, storage, network switching, replication, and backup—onto virtualized, industrystandard x86 hardware, with global unified management.
Southbank implemented a fully redundant configuration for ultimate availability and data protection. The school replaced an entire rack of distributed legacy equipment with two 2U SimpliVity OmniCube nodes in its primary data center. Applications and data are backed up locally for business continuity, and to a third OmniCube node locally on site for disaster recovery. A central system administrator manages the 2+1 OmniCube federation using the familiar VMware vCenter vSphere web console. VMs can be cloned, moved or restored with just two or three mouse clicks.
SimpliVity’s innovative real-time deduplication, compression and optimization technologies deliver breakthrough performance and data efficiency. With SimpliVity, Southbank applications and data are backed up and restored in just seconds, compared to hours or days with the legacy infrastructure. Teachers, students and administrators now enjoy reliable, fast access to core applications and IT services. The SimpliVity solution also helps Southbank minimise data storage costs; the IT organization maintains 477TB of logical data on just 6.8TB of physical storage.
SimpliVity’s VM-centric administration and global unified management capabilities dramatically simplify operations. A single system administrator can roll out new applications in hours, compared to weeks with the previous implementation. IT staff spend less time administering infrastructure and more time focusing on strategic projects to help improve learning and student experiences.