Just as restaurants must have appetizing food and retailers must have desirable products, universities specializing in science, technology, and innovation must have rock-solid technical underpinnings. After all, reputation is paramount in higher education, where online universities and global commoditization have created fierce competition for students and faculty.
That’s why it was so important for Australia’s Swinburne University of Technology to upgrade its former data center systems, which were not living up to expectations and adopt an infrastructure that would be more stable, secure, and predictable. One that would improve the performance of current applications and allow the university to focus on new student services instead of ongoing technology fine tuning.
“Ultimately, we wanted a storage and compute solution that we knew would work for our prescribed workloads from day one,” says Daniel Buttigieg, associate director of infrastructure at Swinburne.
- This “day one” readiness came in the form of a pre-configured, pre-validated design.
- Instead of cobbling together an array of vendor systems, Swinburne chose FlexPod, an integrated infrastructure solution that features the Intel® Xeon® processor-based Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®), Cisco Nexus® switches, and NetApp storage.
- The university’s new infrastructure is virtualized with Microsoft Hyper-V software.
Addressing workload requirements
“FlexPod’s prevalidated designs directly addressed our concerns and gave us the confidence that the environment was tried and tested and would support our workload requirements immediately,” Buttigieg says. “We can focus on education services and not worry about whether the technology works together.”
FlexPod doesn’t just deliver stability and predictability, he adds. It also offers the scalability needed to support the university’s growing number of users, devices, and applications. And the flexibility of the virtualized environment enables the university to easily deploy new student services and hybrid learning programs, which feature a combination of on-campus and online curriculum.
“Don’t underestimate the advantage of a solution that the vendor has validated to meet your workloads and function as you require it,” Buttigieg recommends. “Not only will it reduce your implementation time, but it lessens the organizational risk in making the purchase at all.”