Royal Holloway University of London

Daisy and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) drive cost and efficiency savings in a first for the UK’s education sector

A modern, world-class university needs server infrastructure future-proofed for the cloud age. We’re delighted to have upgraded a critical part of our IT environment so seamlessly with Daisy and HPE. The predicted power and software licensing savings will keep us leaner and greener, and better able to support our staff and students.”

– Zoë Faiz, Assistant IT Director at Royal Holloway University of London

Royal Holloway University London (RHUL) is one of the University of London’s 17 member institutions, founded in 1886 to promote the education of women. Today, it ranks among the top 25 universities in the UK, with nearly 12,000 students and 2,000 staff split across two main campuses in central London and Egham, Surrey.

The Challenge

The university’s legacy infrastructure sat at the heart of its IT environment, delivering critical data services to thousands of staff and students from across their data centres. Over a long period of time, the university invested in various platforms which could not fully realise their potential due to legacy workloads and inherent migration challenges.

Generations of hardware, with various legacy dependencies attributed to them, meant that maintaining efficient day to day support and management was more difficult than it had to be. This was recognised to be impacting the university’s ability to easily develop and scale to meet its future academic needs. With a significant data centre footprint and increasing energy awareness, regaining control of its infrastructure energy usage was another growing concern.

The Solution

As a trusted advisor for RHUL with a 20+ year relationship, Daisy and HPE engaged with the RHUL leadership team to perform a series of consultative discovery and assessment programmes. The outcome of this was for all parties to gain a clear understanding of the business priorities serving both immediate and longer term challenges.

Daisy proposed a new virtual infrastructure solution based on HPE dHCI technology: HPE ProLiant DL Servers and HPE Nimble Storage.  This large technology refresh was developed under a HPE GreenLake program to provide a guaranteed unit of measure for the entire lifecycle, presenting a consumption model that was delivered as a service.

With immediate commercial benefits to RHUL and a return on investment that could be realised in terms of months rather than years, this “as a service” model had no upfront charges, with well-defined costs to easily budget for future growth and seasonal demands.

To remediate all technical debt, the removal of legacy equipment and services was consolidated to form a single “right sized” ecosystem by design, as HPE dHCI is highly scalable with independent growth of compute and storage workloads.

This proposed solution will offer an improved level of resiliency, with 99.9999% availability and uses HPE Peer Persistence to provide synchronous storage replication and VMware Metro Cluster to ensure that a single cluster is load balanced between each data centre.

As a HPE GreenLake solution, installation services are provided by HPE to provide the immediate landing zone whilst Daisy developed and implemented the cloud transformation and migration programme to migrate four separate virtual environments across two independent hypervisor technologies.

The Result

Working closely with RHUL and HPE, Daisy developed an innovative and consciously hybrid solution that not only solved all of the current infrastructure headaches but also addressed many other business priorities including support, management, education, cost and sustainability.

The solution delivers:

  1. Simplicity – A single, modern, easy to manage landing zone with enterprise levels of resiliency, availability, intelligence, proactive reporting, management, and automation.
  2. Flexibility – A 20% variable that provides immediate support for seasonal demands that can be consumed on a daily pay-per-use basis.
  3. Improved environmental impact – This new solution successfully reduced the client’s datacentre footprint by 75%, reducing the number of VMWare sockets by 85% and achieving energy savings of over 72%.
  4. Streamlined management – Future management tasks are made painless with the help of improved analytics, support from an “as a service” Service Delivery Team and well-trained staff.
  5. Sustainability – Legacy equipment has been fully decommissioned, sanitised, and disposed of using ISO accredited processes with all residual value being paid back to RHUL.
  6. Accelerated delivery – A well-defined transformation and migration programme allows the university to rapidly undertake these activities and ensure project governance and quality is maintained throughout each milestone.
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  • Sector: Education
  • No. Employees: Circa 2,000
  • Services Taken: HPE GreenLake, HPE Peer Persistence, VMWare Metro Cluster, HPE ProLiant DL Servers, HPE Nimble Storage

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