For St Peter’s College, a leading independent boys primary and secondary school based in South Australia, its IT infrastructure plays a vital role in the day-to-day running of the School and underpins the eLearning experience for its 1,500 students and 350 staff members.
St Peter’s College relies heavily on technology to encourage an environment where digital learning seamlessly complements its traditional curriculum to support students in reaching their full potential. The School also leverages technology to foster communication and collaboration between parents, students and teaching staff.
With the School’s legacy three-tier flash storage system approaching end of life, the IT team began experiencing challenges in providing a reliable, cost-effective and agile environment to run important workloads and mitigate downtime. John Cosenza, Head of ICT for St Peter’s College, and his team re-assessed how the needs of the School have evolved since the last refresh in 2016.
“The way our users leverage technology has changed significantly over the past five years. Today we have more demand for media-rich content and database applications, rather than file storage,” said John. “We were in need of a solution that would provide us with faster disk storage, a better data recovery and back-up solution, and the ability to scale as we continue to develop applications to enhance the learning experience for our students.”
Looking to long term partnerships
To find the right solution, St Peter’s College turned to its long-term, trusted IT advisors Data#3 and Dell Technologies. Having developed long-standing partnerships with both over the past decade, John and his team were interested in hearing about solutions that would meet their specific requirements.
As well as increased storage, St Peter’s College needed to modernise the data recovery solution it uses to back up over 100 virtual machines and support the development environment. While it previously housed its data recovery on site, the team realised there were better fail-safe options available that would reduce time between failure and recovery.
Explaining the driver behind the upgrade, John said, “Infrastructure is very important to us. Reliability of infrastructure builds trust and promotes digital confidence. Students, staff and parents are accessing the platform at all times throughout the day and night, and from across Australia and the world. We needed a solution that synchronised data in real time and minimised the risk of downtime for our users.”
The proposal to modernise and future-proof St Peter’s College’s IT infrastructure involved moving to Dell EMC VxRail, a hyperconverged platform that simplifies the IT process by providing a single point of support for all software and hardware, and Dell EMC PowerEdge servers to allow the School to scale its environment as its digital needs grow.
The future is bright for the students of St Peter’s College
Since the successful migration, St Peter’s College has noticed significant benefits. Back-up times have been reduced from hours to minutes. Upgrades to the infrastructure are now automatic, reducing downtime and significantly saving administrative time, thus freeing up the IT team to focus on strategic projects.
In addition, the new infrastructure mitigates delays or connectivity issues for vital applications built by St Peter’s College’s development team – such as managing sporting fixtures, continuous academic reporting, timetabling, online diaries, access to photography, online forms and other resources.
Aligned with the School’s overall ICT strategy, which includes a goal of increased environmental sustainability, St Peter’s College has reduced its technology footprint and power consumption with this upgrade. The new solution is also playing an essential part in driving St Peter’s College eLearning mission statement, which is to equip students with the future-ready skills they need to succeed in their careers and use technology to provide a space to innovate in and enrich learning experiences.