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Coventry University Case Study


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Coventry University Case Study

  1. 1. Microsoft System Center Customer Solution Case Study University Hits £1 Million Savings Goal with Virtualised Network and Management ToolsOverview ―By virtualising with Hyper-V, we saved £129,000 inCountry or Region: United KingdomIndustry: Education—Universities licensing, plus we avoid costs for further investment and gain greater control with the Microsoft SystemCustomer ProfileCoventry University is a forward-looking Center tools in Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter.‖university with a tradition of providing Stephen Booth, Head of Central Computing Services, Coventry Universityhigh-quality education and innovativelearning experiences. Today, its cutting-edge campus is home to more than20,000 students. When the Coventry University IT team was asked to cut £1Business Situation million from its budget as part of a strategic initiative, it re-As part of the university‘s strategic plan, evaluated virtualisation technologies. A previous foray intothe IT team needed to reduce annual ITexpenditure by £1 million, while at the virtualisation had proved to be expensive, with the team findingsame time creating a more flexible and it a challenge to make the most of the technology. Afterscalable environment. comparing several solutions, it chose to deploy Windows ServerSolution 2008 R2 Datacenter because the licensing model immediatelyThe university deployed a virtualisedserver environment based on Windows saved the university £129,000. The IT team is now using Hyper-VServer 2008 R2 Datacenter, which technology—included in the solution—to virtualise as manyincludes Microsoft System Center toolsand Hyper-V technology. virtual machines onto one server as it needs, without requiring licences for each virtual machine. The team has also reducedBenefits University saves £1 million staffing needs by one full-time staff member through the Provisioning time is reduced consolidation of platforms. With the new environment, the Ongoing costs are cut End users are more productive university saves £1 million of its allocated budget. Carbon savings are met Data is protected
  2. 2. ―With Windows Server Situation that the IT department make savings of £1 Coventry University is a post-1992 million across the campus. Booth says: ―The2008 R2 Datacenter, we university located in the heart of the West corporate plan was clear about the IT Midlands in the United Kingdom (U.K.). Its team‘s role in making savings as well asgained precisely the reputation for excellence in education has enhancing services through centralisation—features we needed to grown steadily over the last 20 years. The we had a specific target to work towards. university is strongly focused on We revisited virtualisation and cloudachieve savings, developing students‘ vocational skills and technologies because in just a few years expertise to maximise their opportunities they‘d changed a lot, and there werestandardisation, and for employment and entrepreneurship. different options available to us.‖greater control over the As part of its commitment to developing students‘ skills, Coventry University has Solutionnetwork.‖ invested significantly in developing its The team looked at Hyper-V, Citrix facilities, dedicating £160 million to VirtualBox, and VMware, comparing each Steve Rogers, Server Team Leader, Coventry University improving research and learning facilities in solution and evaluating the best a 10-year plan that included the opening of combination of price, performance, and a new £55 million Engineering & tools. Steve Rogers, Server Team Leader at Computing building in September 2012. Coventry University, says: ―With Windows Providing students with modern Server 2008 R2 Datacenter, we gained information and communications precisely the features we needed to achieve technology tools—such as streamlined, savings, standardisation, and greater high-performing student computing labs control over the network.‖ The evaluation and consistent access to a virtual learning resulted in the university choosing to environment—is a major focus of deploy a virtualised infrastructure based on improvements. Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter and Hyper-V. ―There was no question that it was Several years ago, the university‘s IT team the best total infrastructure solution for purchased VMware licences and Coventry University,‖ says Booth. ―Not only technology, with the goal of reducing is the licensing cost-effective, but we can server sprawl and centralising IT also use Microsoft System Center tools to management. Stephen Booth, Head of manage the infrastructure efficiently from Central Computing Services, Coventry one location.‖ University, says: ―We‘d looked at virtualisation to improve control over the The licensing structure for Hyper-V means network and save money through that Coventry University buys just one optimising our existing investments. But licence for the host machine, but is entitled our VMware distribution was small scale to run as many virtual machines as it needs. and piecemeal, and we never fully used the The solutions included as part of Windows technology because of the high direct costs Server 2008 R2 Datacenter provide the of licensing it, coupled with minimal use of team with dozens of tools to manage the the extended feature capabilities of the infrastructure, including those needed for product.‖ live migration and clustering, from a graphical user interface. But, in 2010, the university moved quickly forward with its strategic plan to improve Booth says: ―Although we were initially a bit university services. As part of this, the sceptical about Hyper-V, we played around executive management team requested with it to get the best configuration for our
  3. 3. ―We‘re delivering a very needs. We started to think it was a good fit made a corresponding reduction in floor for us in terms of features and a more cost- space requirements within the data centre.reliable, streamlined effective solution for our environment than VMware.‖ Coventry University configured University Saves £1 Millionservice that aligns IT each host operating system with 32 Streamlining IT services to reduce costsdelivery to business gigabytes of random access memory and within one year was the highest priority for four processors, ensuring it met its the IT team. In this, it exceeded its goalsneeds. For example, it stringent requirements for memory and with ongoing cost reduction in staff performance. resources, power, and cooling. Booth says:takes us just one day to ―By virtualising with Hyper-V, we savedprovision a standard Microsoft System Center 2012 - Operations £129,000 in licensing, plus we avoid costs Manager and Virtual Machine Manager for further investment and gain greaterserver, compared to play a crucial role in ensuring that control with the Microsoft System Center applications—from Microsoft Exchange tools in Windows Server 2008 R2three months in our Server to Microsoft SharePoint Server— Datacenter. These factors helped us to saveprevious environment.‖ work seamlessly. For example, Operations £1 million in one year.‖ Manager detects failures automatically and Stephen Booth, Head of Central re-configures server failover so that users IT Team Improves Business ServicesComputing Services, Coventry University don‘t experience downtime. With Virtual As part of its strategic plan, the university Machine Manager, the IT team can manage wanted to centralise IT to support efficient and configure all machines onto the virtual management. It‘s now achieved this with a network. Booth says: ―Virtual Machine virtualised server infrastructure based on Manager manages more than 280 of our Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter, which servers. That‘s around 85 per cent of our helps staff manage all IT services from one server infrastructure. Applications managed place. The team avoids downtime through in the new environment include business- automated, proactive monitoring in critical services such as human resources, Microsoft System Center and its ability to Exchange Server, and payroll. Rather than configure thresholds to meet university having one of our team managing servers network demands. physically, we can do this from a central console.‖ The IT team also delivers new business services quickly. Booth says: ―We‘re Benefits delivering a very reliable, streamlined Coventry University has achieved savings of service that aligns IT delivery to business £1 million in the first year of deploying the needs. For example, it takes us just one day Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter to provision a standard server, compared to solution. A cost-effective licensing model three months in our previous environment.‖ has helped it virtualise most of the infrastructure. At the same time, it‘s making University Reduces Ongoing Research ongoing savings through improved control Costs and has reduced its requirement for IT As an applied research institution, Coventry staff—saving the university one full-time University often needs to set up and staff member‘s salary a year. Power and support short-term projects quickly. The cooling costs are also cut dramatically solution will help it avoid unnecessary costs because the university has reduced the by making it easier to take advantage of number of physical servers it needs and has managed cloud services where it can provision servers, applications, and capacity
  4. 4. For More Information fast. ―We can embrace the cloud business centralised management is helping us toFor further information about Microsoft model in the future, either for our entire avoid these costs too,‖ says Rogers.products and services, please visit: infrastructure or for specific projects, such as those that need an on- IT Protects Valuable Data with Disasteror call 0870 60 10 100* demand computing service. Before, we had Recovery Solution to buy physical servers—now, we can ‗rent‘ As part of its virtualised infrastructure,For hearing impaired customers with a virtual server instances from our central Coventry University is planning toMinicom, contact: 0870 50 30 400* provision for a project‘s duration,‖ says implement a disaster recovery solution,*Lines are open 8am–6pm, Monday to Booth. replicating its data at another location withFriday. Please note numbers prefixed the tools in Windows Server 20120870 will be charged at national call End-Users Gain Better Experience Datacenter. ―It‘s very straight forward torates. For details of national call rate Before the Hyper-V solution was configure our data to be replicated atcharges, please contact your introduced, Coventry University ran several another site that we are in control of. Wetelecommunications provider. applications and services on one physical currently use a managed storage service server. If there was a problem with the with our data carried off-site every day butFor more information about Coventry server, access to data and applications was we‘re now equipped to organise our ownUniversity, call or visit the website at: affected. ―With our servers running in the disaster recovery solution,‖ says virtualised environment, we‘ve improved user uptime significantly. We‘ve configured an inherently resilient service and can rely on Operations Manager to alert us to issues that will negatively impact the user Microsoft System Center experience,‖ says Rogers. ―If the servers System Center solutions help IT pros physically fail, Windows Server Failover manage the physical and virtual Clustering helps ensure that the virtual information technology (IT) environments machine automatically moves applications across data centers, client computers, and onto another cluster of servers.‖ devices. Using these integrated and automated management solutions, IT University Hits Carbon Savings Goal organizations can be more productive By consolidating servers onto fewer service providers to their businesses. machines and hosting them in one location, the university has reduced power and For more information on Microsoft System cooling costs by around £28,000 each year. Center please visit: ―We haven‘t just cut power and cooling costs, we‘ve also reduced carbon emissions by 20 per cent, which is the carbon savings goal set by the U.K. government. If we didn‘t achieve this goal, we‘d receive a significant fine, so virtualisation and Software and Services − Microsoft System Center Microsoft Server Product Portfolio Configuration Manager 2007 R3 − Microsoft System Center 2012 - − Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Operations Manager Technologies − Microsoft System Center 2012 - − Hyper-V Virtual Machine ManagerThis case study is for informational purposes only.MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS ORIMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.Document published October 2012