Friday, 26th February 2021

NetApp helps the University of Cambridge develop a future-ready IT infrastructure

NetApp has been selected by the University of Cambridge to modernize its IT systems and satisfy the new demands of higher education. NetApp will help the University Information Services (UIS) department to centralize, consolidate, and migrate its IT portfolio to a private cloud environment and develop an IT billing system that can be used across the university.

The UIS currently supports a student body of 2,300 and 1,500 staff members. Not only does it need to be able to sustain day-to-day tasks such as emails, human resources operations, and payroll; it must also meet high performance and reliability SLAs and service-level objectives (SLOs) for nuclear physics simulations and big data analysis involved in the university’s world-leading research programs.

The department’s role and IT services have become even more important now that more people must work and learn remotely in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. The university’s IT system must be able to support significantly higher traffic levels from off-site locations, at all times.

Scaling to the cloud to deliver the next great research breakthrough

To help address these issues and support the UIS, NetApp HCI will allow the university to take advantage of the cloud and scale storage and compute whenever and as much as it needs to. With this IT strategy, the UIS can reduce software licensing costs overall while providing an infrastructure that offers flexibility across the board.

In addition to this, through the use of NetApp’s HCI platform, the UIS can guarantee the performance of multiple applications across the server at one time. Discussing this appeal UIS said: “Our initial goal was to remove complexity and technical debt within our environment. To do this, we consolidated multiple storage systems and services offered by the university. We then searched for efficiencies through automating processes, improving scalability and eventually move some of our larger workloads to the cloud. Our partnership with NetApp allows us to consolidate many of our services, and saving much needed resources while delivering to staff and students’ needs in the ‘New Normal’.”

Improving user engagement and control through a centralized IT deployment

NetApp is currently training all UIS staff on NetApp HCI so that they can deliver the services across all colleges and faculties. The UIS will be able to shape a centralized, consistent experience across the University of Cambridge and keep the services that engage students, staff, and researchers running smoothly.

Because the NetApp HCI front end has retained the university’s previous UI, staff will be able to use a familiar interface. With this consistency, even those who aren’t experts in architecting computing environments can immediately use and benefit from the centralized system.

Chris Greenwood, managing director of NetApp U.K. and Ireland, said: “We’re proud to be collaborating with the UIS, as they continue to support the University of Cambridge in adjusting to the new normal. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is the importance of reliable, scalable, and cloud-connected infrastructure. This approach will allow organizations like the UIS to accelerate transformation and deliver reliable services when they need it the most.”
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