The Gryphon School is an expanding Church of England secondary school and sixth form with academy status. Based in Sherborne, Dorset, the school places importance on personal and academic achievement and being outstanding in all respects.
As a Business and Enterprise Specialist School, it attracts pupils from all over Somerset and currently has a large number of registered students. The Gryphon School takes pride in embracing an IT and e-learning culture. This is facilitated by freely accessible WiFi, access to the school Intranet, a mobile device app and in excess of 750 computers on premises. The school also encourages students to bring their own devices in to school to foster learning.
Expansion and Improvement
When Neil Burroughs, The Head of IT at The Gryphon School met with S3 his challenge was simple. S3’s remit was to provide the school with a replacement for an old and now creaking HP environment which had become difficult to maintain, manage and was hampering progress.
Mindful that the school has almost doubled in size over the last fifteen years, a central storage platform with the flexibility to meet the demands of a changing environment and deliver resilience in equal measure, was key.
In addition S3 had to procure a solution that was easy to manage on a day-to-day basis and offered scalability.
S3 recognise that every organisation is unique and vendor independence allowed us to tailor our recommendations to help Gryphon School meet their challenges head on. By selecting the optimal hardware for our client from EMC’s VNXe series, S3 delivered an affordable all-flash storage solution to support file and block workloads, multiple storage protocols, thin provisioning and automated storage tiering etc.
Working with EMC, the leading storage manufacturer in the world, S3 implemented a solution and infrastructure to support growth, flexibility, resilience as well as human and financial resource efficiencies that were in line with the Gryphon School’s original brief.
Fulfilment, installation, testing and support are all encompassed within S3’s services. Through the deployment of an experienced project manager this assignment was split into two stages.
The first was to provide a central storage platform on the school’s primary site. The second objective but equally as important was to deliver a Disaster Recovery [DR] solution that was easily accessible at a secure second location, in the event of the primary infrastructure being damaged or lost through fire, flood or other unforeseen circumstances.
Veeam was our preferred product of choice. A powerful, easy-to-use and efficient replication tool that ensures fast, flexible and reliable recovery of applications and data.
With the technology selected it was time to put the old HP environment to good use. Integrating HP MSA storage, a product renowned for being expandable and upgradable, the old infrastructure was configured to provide the DR storage solution. As a consequence S3 enabled the school to get more life out of an infrastructure that had been considered redundant, delivering further efficiencies to the project.
A smooth transition
With our project manager and consultant working on site, both phases of this work were completed within a two month timescale to ensure the school’s environment incurred the minimum of disruption and remained agile.
Head of IT at The Gryphon School, Neil Burroughs said: “Trust and reliability was an important part of our decision to use S3 to deliver a full storage platform and disaster recovery solution. They assessed our needs and spent time on site installing, configuring and testing the solutions they provided.
“Both projects ran seamlessly and were finished on-time and within budget. We now have a low touch reliable platform in place which has improved performance and meets the demands of today and tomorrow.
“The service we have received has been first-class and unlike other providers S3 offer local support and are only ever a phone call away.”
- The EMC VNXe series has provided The Gryphon School with a central storage platform that is easy to manage and has no single point of failure. This has provided resilience, peace of mind and end user satisfaction.
- Low total cost of ownership of the IT infrastructure
- Disaster Recovery: Veeam replication software and the reconfiguration the old HP environment has delivered a viable DR solution and added security in the event of a disaster.
- Liberation: IT management has gone from being a daily burden to low maintenance with limited management required on a day-to-day basis.
- Efficient: Operational costs have decreased and tiers of complexity have been removed freeing up human resource.
- Flexibility: to grow the solution to handle increasing volumes of data