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North Lindsey College uses HPE Hyper Converged systems to ensure security of critical data



North Lindsey College, an associate college of the UK’s University of Lincoln, is the largest provider of post-16 education and training in the region. With 4,790 students and over 500 staff, the college possesses huge amounts North Lindsey College logo.jpgof data including teaching and learning programs, student records, personal information and routine business materials. Because of the large amount of data, North Lindsey College requires approximately 20TB of production storage. Additionally, data security is critical to the daily operation of the school.

North Lindsey runs two data centers on its campus – a principal production site and a separate back-up site. The college had two legacy storage units, but they were coming to their end-of-life and the equipment was becoming more difficult and expensive to manage. In addition, recent hardware failures caused the systems to fail for up to two days at a time. More critically, the college was running out of storage space, so a new solution was urgently required.

“We needed to double the capacity, and we wanted a solution that was easier to manage, faster and based on newer technology,” says Andrew Parker, North Lindsey’s IT infrastructure and desktop support manager.

North Lindsey College opted for a hyperconverged infrastructure because the technology delivers a software-centric architecture that tightly integrates compute, storage, and virtualization resources with other technologies. The college chose a HPE Hyper Converged solution over competing products because it was more competitively priced and focused on innovative technology.

North Lindsey purchased an HPE Hyper Converged appliance for each of their data centers. These systems feature StoreVirtual technology powered by Intel® Xeon® Processors with integrated storage and networking.

The colleges’ new HPE Hyper Converged appliances eliminate the need to have separate storage devices on one side, servers on the other and a complex Storage Area Network (SAN) between. Designed to be North Lindsey College.PNGsimple, easy to deploy and manage, HPE Hyper Converged solutions feature HPE StoreVirtual, a scale-out, software-defined Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) platform that provides data mobility across locations and between physical and virtual storage.

These pre-configured systems speed up the deployment of a virtualized environment and are made to support high availability with transparent failover in the event of failure and inherent disaster recovery capabilities.

“Having a total of eight servers is a significant increase over what we had before…These systems have also doubled our storage capacity,” says Keith Urry, North Lindsey’s senior network officer.

Previously, hardware failures had reduced availability levels to 98.5 percent. With the new HPE systems, that number has risen to over 99.9 percent.

“One of the advantages is the peace of mind that you get from having a fully redundant solution,” adds Urry. “If anything goes wrong on one of the pieces of equipment, there is another that can take over its functions.  You know that users will be able to continue working…Now we don’t have any unplanned downtime at all.”

Data backup and restore times have also been significantly improved. North Lindsey does a full back-up every night. Previously this was a hit and miss process that would take the whole night. Now, the IT team consistently hits their back-up window target of two hours.

Ease of management of the HPE solutions has also released the team from routine maintenance and IT firefighting. As a result, the IT team can now better support the college by undertaking more creative work.

“Our HPE Hyper Converged systems take care of themselves so they are always up and the data is always accessible,” concludes Parker.

For more details, check out North Lindsey College’s full case study, North Lindsey College takes the hyper-converged route.

And details on all HPE Hyper Converged solutions can be found here.


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