University of Namibia
The national university of Namibia implements SimpliVity OmniCube and refreshes their entire legacy infrastructure while experiencing the simplification of management and maintenance offered by OmniCube’s Global Unified Management.
“Our new SimpliVity environment simply improved our turnaround time when deploying new services. It makes the management of the environment a lot easier, we need less bandwidth for our DR site, we have a lot more space in our data center, and we use less electricity for cooling. It’s a total win situation.”
– Christiane Fendler, Infrastructure Manager, Salt Essential IT for UNAM
The University of Namibia (UNAM) is the largest national institution of higher education in Namibia with 12 campuses nationwide and eight regional centers, and a student population from all over the continent. Although it is a relatively young university, UNAM has already grown to support a student population of around 19,000. Some of UNAM’s academic programs include Agriculture and Natural Resources, Economics and Management Science, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, Law, Health Sciences, Science, and Engineering. The University’s IT environment must support all of its students as well as its 324 professors and lecturers; however, their data center was growing to be too complex and difficult to manage. UNAM turned to Salt Essential IT, an IT solutions provider, to assist them in finding a technology solution that would solve their management simplification and data center migration initiatives.
Data Center Simplification and VDI
University of Namibia is a quickly growing educational center, emphasizing top-notch education for not just the country, but for the continent. However, their existing legacy infrastructure was beginning to limit the university’s burgeoning growth plans. UNAM’s IT environment included legacy servers and SAN, whose siloed natures were proving difficult to manage and maintain.
The IT team, also aware of the 500+ physical desktops in their computer labs and libraries, made the decision to look for a VDI solution that would provide a true simplification for desktop administration, management, and support.
UNAM was plagued by management issues from their multiple point solutions from multiple vendors, all creating different management interfaces for their IT team to oversee. It was creating a significant burden for UNAM’s IT team, and the added initiative to begin migrating and consolidating their data center to accommodate the quickly growing University, made looking for a new solution a top priority.
UNAM approached Salt Essential IT, one of SimpliVity’s value-added resellers, and asked them to advise on all current available VDI solutions, which at the time did not include Simplivity. Numerous meetings were held discussing possible solutions, and recommendations were made based on UNAM’s current requirements and potential future growth. A POC was done on Pivot3, which led to a tender being offered for Pivot3. However, by this time Simplivity had become available and Salt Essential proposed a further meeting with UNAM, and presented and demoed the OmniCube. During the demonstration, Salt Essential outlined how SimpliVity’s hyperconverged solution would be of great benefit to UNAM’s existing requirements and future growth.
The University of Namibia chose OmniCube over incumbent legacy providers as well as VDI-specific solutions such as HP, IBM servers and storage, and Pivot3. What truly differentiated OmniCube from competitors was its ability to deliver a solution to support UNAM’s current VDI requirements as well as provide features that were not available by any other vendor in a single, easy-to-manage, scalable package. UNAM felt that the incumbent technologies for VDI solutions were either too large or too expensive, and none had built-in features such as backup and DR or inline deduplication, compression, and optimization.
UNAM’s IT initiative was based on VDI requirements, and because of the inline deduplication, compression, and optimization offered by SimpliVity’s Data Virtualization Platform that delivers superior performance levels at a lower price point compared to other competitors, the University chose SimpliVity’s hyperconverged offering.
UNAM is planning to migrate all existing legacy-based systems onto the OmniCubes and purchase additional OmniCubes for the possibility of deploying in nationwide campuses. They see many opportunities in OmniCube’s enablement of inline deduplication, compression, and optimization, and more specifically, the built-in backup and DR and global unified management.
The University of Namibia is enjoying the best of both worlds offered by SimpliVity’s OmniCube. Their mission-critical applications such as Microsoft SharePoint, SQL Server, and Exchange environments were optimized under SimpliVity’s data efficiency capabilities, and because of the OmniCube’s hyperconverged architecture, management of their VMs were now all streamlined in a single tab in VMware vCenter. The integrated data protection and backup features of OmniCube have also helped UNAM improve their RPOs and RTOs, an important advantage when dealing with sensitive information from students and professors.
SimpliVity supplied the University of Namibia with two OmniCube CN-3000s to replace their legacy systems that were point solutions specifically for VDI implementation. The University, after experiencing SimpliVity’s OmniCube, is now also interested in using it for their overall virtual infrastructure environment as well as at their northern campus and nationwide campus.
Key benefits include:
- 75% increase in performance
- 1 week realization of value
- Best of both worlds: cloud economics with enterprise functionality, protection, and performance
- Data center simplification
- Ease of management
- VDI functionality
- Data Virtualization Platform
- Integrated data protection
- Inline dedupe, compression, and optimization
- Hyperconverged infrastructure
- Globally-unified management