February 09, 2022

Data#3 upgrades Adelaide’s Westminster School’s IT systems with Dell EMC VxRail HCI

Author: Nico Arboleda, Journalist, CRN Australia

Source Publication: CRN Australia (Click to view on source website)

Managed services provider Data#3 was tapped by Adelaide-based Westminster School to deploy Dell EMC VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure to replace its IT systems.

Westminster School is a K–12 coeducational school, with both day school and boarding school options, that has some 1000 students enrolled.

The upgrade was prompted by an increase in demand on the IT infrastructure, with the multi-tiered infrastructure in place deemed not flexible enough for the school’s growing needs.

“We looked for a solution that could stand up to the new challenges and keep our focus on delivering the best educational experience for our students,” Westminster School head of ICT Chris McLean said.

Taking into consideration some requirements like cloud technologies, manageability, security, and sustainability, Westminster School sought to move to a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI)-based solution and replace the multi-tiered platform into a single, software-driven and appliance-based layer.

McLean said the school chose Dell VxRail HCI due to Dell’s leading position in the education space and the the performance of its other solutions like VMware virtualisation software.

Data#3 was chosen as the implementation partner, leading the deployment of eight Dell VxRail G-Series nodes across two on-premises data centres in a stretched cluster.

“The support from Data#3 during the implementation was excellent. It took no more than one week, with a couple of days for testing,” McLean said.

“The handover was seamless, and we found VxRail to be very user-friendly to work with.”

Following the upgrade, Westminster School reported improved performance of its learning management system by 200 to 300 percent, reduced IT cost of ownership, 20 fewer hours per month of management time, and reduced rack space by 75 percent and power usage by 50 percent.

Westminster also got to deploy Microsoft Intune with the extra hours gained from the reduced maintenance needs, so management of student desktops and mobile devices are simplified.

“We’re able to move away from routine administration with VxRail and focus on better serving students and teachers. Our primary goal at Westminster is to provide students every opportunity to achieve more than they thought was possible. This extra time allows our team to innovate with that goal in mind,” McLean said.

Looking ahead, Westminster is looking to venture more into multi-cloud, involving moving workloads between private clouds and public cloud environments. The school currently has some 20 percent of applications on the public cloud, which synchronises with Active Directory.

“Our plan is to investigate a hybrid, multi-cloud setup with Dell Technologies providing single-pane-of-glass management,” McLean said.