Burgmann Anglican School
“The SimpliVity solution is so easy to use we have reduced our IT consulting spend from $150,000 to $20,000 a year.”
– Joel Anderson, Head of Operations, Burgmann Anglican School
Burgmann Anglican School, an independent school system serving 1500+ students across two campuses in Gungahlin, Australia, replaced its legacy multivendor IT environment with SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure. The SimpliVity solution helps the school simplify operations, reduce TCO and ensure high performance and availability for its core IT services, critical student administrative applications, and IP telephony system.
Business Challenge: Infrastructure Modernization and Simplification
Burgmann Anglican’s multivendor IT environment had become too costly and cumbersome to maintain and scale. The school’s legacy IT infrastructure included Dell® PowerEdge rack servers, Dell EqualLogic and QNAP NAS devices, and Veeam and IBM® Tivoli® data backup and recovery solutions. Administering the fragmented environment was a complex undertaking involving multiple devices and management interfaces. The school often had to call in outside IT consultants to assist with routine system planning, administration and maintenance.
Joel Anderson, Head of Operations for Burgmann Anglican, initiated a data center modernization program to simplify operations and improve the economics and performance of the school’s IT systems. “We’re in the education business, not the IT business,” says Anderson. “We needed a cost-effective solution that could be easily supported by IT generalists.”
After evaluating a number of options including solutions from EMC and Cisco, Anderson selected SimpliVity OmniStack hyperconverged infrastructure for the school’s new IT implementation. “The SimpliVity product is incredibly easy to manage and was about $100,000 less expensive than the alternatives,” explains Anderson.
SimpliVity OmniStack provides a scalable, modular, 2U building block of x86 resources that offers all the functionality of traditional IT infrastructure—including server, storage and data protection functions—in a single device, with a unified administrative interface. The institution implemented redundant OmniStack configurations in both its Valley Campus and Forde Campus data centers to ensure continuous availability in the event of hardware failures or application mishaps. Applications and data are backed up across sites for disaster recovery. At each location the school replaced an entire equipment rack of legacy gear with two 2U OmniStack nodes.
SimpliVity’s VM-centric administration and intuitive user interface dramatically simplifies operations. System administrators can clone, move or restore VMs in seconds, with just two or three mouse clicks.
“With SimpliVity we don’t need in-house server, storage or data protection experts,” says Anderson. “A couple IT generalists manage the entire implementation using the familiar VMware vCenter console. The SimpliVity solution helps us avoid about $130,000 a year in IT consulting expenses. It also frees up IT staff to work on more pressing business tasks and support issues.”
“The SimpliVity solution far exceeded our expectations,” continues Anderson. “By eliminating cost and complexity we’ve been able to achieve a rapid investment return, while improving the manageability, reliability and performance of our IT systems.”
OmniStack’s built-in data protection features help safeguard critical IT applications and services. The product’s unique data efficiencies have slashed data backup and recovery windows from hours to just seconds. “When we had a problem with our Mitel VoIP software we were able to restore services in 15 seconds,” explains Anderson. “With our previous environment our phone system would have been down for hours while we were recovering the application.”