Driving innovative student services

The University of Cumbria (UoC) is one of England’s newest universities, founded in 2007 after a merger of the St. Martin’s College, the Cumbria Institute of the Arts and the Cumbria campuses of the University of Central Lancashire. The University supports approximately 12,000 and 1,100 staff at both university campuses and partner owned and operated sites.

The University has staff and students spread across 8 campus locations and needed to evaluate how their infrastructure would support their anticipated storage growth rate of 25% per year. In order not only to support future expansion, but to make their distributed estate an advantage and a strength of the University, they needed to make sure their IT infrastructure was fully supported and with capacity to scale to growth. There was also a service need to concentrate internal staff on added value work.

To achieve their objectives the University would need to replace the existing compute and storage environment with an appropriately sized and configured IT infrastructure to support both physical and virtual servers, and with storage to support its growing requirements. Opting for a Managed Services approach would also allow UoC to support their operations without increasing costs or draining additional time and resources, giving their staff the ability to move beyond simply managing and maintaining their IT and instead focus on driving change and transformation.

We wanted to procure the best technology and develop a resilient and streamlined infrastructure, but our primary concern was always what that technology would eventually allow us to do as a university. We wanted our IT services to facilitate collaboration across campuses, support our administrative processes and attract great students. Colin Coghill, Director of IT Services at the University of Cumbria
  • As part of the solution, ANS also implemented a Managed Protection Service to guarantee secure and reliable backups of critical data.

  • ANS’ Managed Backup comes with onsite application and provides a local restore of data within a 7-day window whilst all backups are synchronised back to ANS over a dedicated WAN link.
  • By providing secure offsite storage and the ability to restore older historic data via a secure portal, ANS can provide access to common backup requests as well as legacy data with improved RPO and RTO.

  • Even with all of the benefits they gained, UoC was still able to reduce their spending in this area.

  • They will no longer need to pay for annual tape backup hardware and software support and subscriptions, tape refresh programs.
  • They will also not have the ongoing purchasing of agent software to cover new servers and growth.
  • The solution allowed for flexible and cost-effective provisioning of compute and storage supports long-term business strategies.
  • By reducing the cable count by 80%, the University has cut down on power and cooling requirements as well as the capital spent on network ports.
  • They will eliminate 272 tonnes of Co2 and save approximately 47% on their data centre cooling costs per year.
  • In addition to the costs saved on power and cooling, the University has since experienced a 26% decrease in overall annual costs.
  • Comprehensive support and clear SLAs from a single expert supplier.
  • Managed protection and a tiered data centre to support their service catalogue.

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