The university engaged with World Wide Technology (WWT) to design, architect and deploy a modernized, scalable data center and disaster recovery solution that would deliver increased performance and expanded capabilities – all while operating within a minimal physical footprint.
WWT overcame the space constraints by using flexible Dell EMC PowerEdge servers for linear scalability. And, we departed from standard integration practices to assemble the new data center hardware onsite.
The customer is a private, residential university with a student population nearing 10,000, had experienced more than two decades of record enrollments – and that growth was continuing.
To meet the increasing demand for student housing and make more cost-effective use of its valuable downtown riverfront property, the University decided to relocate its data center to allow for additional residence space in a prime location. As part of this effort, the customer also wanted to create a new, modernized data center with improved performance, updated disaster recovery capabilities, and easy scalability to meet growing workload demands for years to come. Additionally, the new data center would have to offer increased visibility and manageability that could be overseen by its limited IT staff, which was already overwhelmed with day-to-day IT operations.
One more critical challenge: this new data center, with all its modernized capabilities and responsibilities, had to fit within the confines of a much smaller physical footprint than the previous facility. In short, IT was tasked with doing more with less.
WWT's outcomes-focused discovery approach finds an unforeseen challenge
The university was referred to WWT on the recommendation of an OEM who praised WWT's deep knowledge, broad technical capabilities and vast integration and education resources, including its Advanced Technology Center (ATC) and its North American Integration Center (NAIC), as well as its online educational platform at WWT.com. WWT showcased its capabilities to the customer in its Executive Briefing Center conducting demonstrations to help the customer understand the technologies, options and their benefits.
The school chose WWT in part because of its agnostic and strategic approach, focusing on desired outcomes first before delving into the technologies to support them, as well as our broad expertise, which enabled staff to concentrate on day-to-day issues while WWT deployed its solution.
As part of WWT's discovery and planning process, an unexpected complication was revealed: the door frame into the new, smaller data center space was too narrow to accommodate pre-provisioned server racks. The solution was to assemble, configure, test and deploy everything onsite instead of in the NAIC, in effect setting up a mini-integration facility at the university.
Dell and Intel offer a flexible, scalable and high-performance data center
After a detailed analysis of the customer's current and future data center needs, WWT recommended a hardware solution that featured:
- Dell EMC PowerEdge MX7000 rack-based modular servers – chosen for their linear scalability. Whereas traditional server stacks expand vertically, the MX7000 can expand horizontally to work within the university's space constraints. It also simplifies management with an easy-to-use console and analytics, along with the benefits of a converged infrastructure instead of the previous hyperconverged platform.
- 3rd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors – featuring enhanced memory capabilities, advanced security and built-in workload acceleration.
Other solution elements included:
In addition to its technical contribution in planning assembly, testing and deployment, WWT played an essential role in arranging creative financial models to fund the project over time within the university's budgetary constraints.
WWT completed a successful deployment that overcame unique challenges, enabling a pain-free process that allowed the university's limited IT staff to focus on day-to-day operations throughout the transition.
Working with Dell, Intel and other ecosystem partners, the customer achieved:
- Improved performance, enabling IT to do more with less in a modern, simplified environment.
- Increased capacity, handling more and bigger workloads in less space.
- Higher visibility for management and analytics for better decision-making.
- Desired fault tolerance for improved uptime, stopping problems before they happen.
- Linear scalability to accommodate years of future growth.
WWT concluded our first project and we are currently in discussions about new programs focusing on security transformation and digital employee experience.