University of Greenwich

AI and Machine Learning Provides Top University With Resilient Storage Solution.

“Our longstanding partnership with the same representative members of the Daisy team has helped us build a deep level of trust that they will do things properly. From a solutions development perspective, trust is imperative to us and having that level of reassurance in the Daisy team to allow them access to the key systems that are absolutely fundamental to our organisation is a huge factor and isn’t something we would necessarily do with every partner. Daisy prove to be reliable and proficient in what they do, and I absolutely recommend them.”

-Ben Kelland, University of Greenwich

The Background

The University of Greenwich is a higher education provider located in London across three campuses. Its home campus being the historic Greenwich Old Naval College along the banks of the River Thames. Its other two sites sit amongst the green spaces of Avery Hill, and at the historic Chatham Maritime in Kent.

Established in 1890, it employs more than 1,500 staff, caters to just under 20,000 students, and boasts state-of-the-art teaching spaces set within its historic building and grounds.

The university already had a solution in place across all sites that provided them with block and files storage. Daisy, a long-term, critical technology partner of the university, that has provided support through multiple infrastructure technology procurement exercises and as such, were called upon to support on this latest project.

The Challenge

As part of its modernisation strategy, the university was looking to upgrade its virtualised environments to the latest version of Hypervisor, however, some of the existing hardware in place was not compatible with vendor-supported hardware and needed to be upgraded before any further work was carried out.

As part of the storage solution proposed by Daisy, the university would benefit from existing HPE Server hardware and InfoSight Platform which would provide it with an advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) platform to protect its infrastructure and maximise uptime, providing further peace of mind that all storage and server hardware would be monitored proactively, thus preventing any issues before any possible impact.

This AI and ML offering would not only minimise the impact of any future issues, but would also ensure than any available upgrades were relevant to the  university and proven prior to deployment. It would also provide the capability to monitor from the hardware right through to the VMware environment.

In addition to the introduction of HPE InfoSight to the university’s existing environment, Daisy’s Professional Services and Project Management team were deployed to plan and assist with the hardware deployment and migration process to ensure minimised risk of downtime to both staff and students while both the new environment and virtual server were migrated.

Taking just under 2 months to complete, this project began in November 2020 and was completed by January 2021 with a total contract value of £550K.

The Solution

Daisy proposed and installed three HPE All Flash Nimble Arrays across the university’s three sites. Each of these storage arrays were to be integrated with a backup and recovery application to allow them to back up their virtualised environment. Daisy worked in collaboration with the HPE Service Delivery teams to ensure that the kit was delivered and installed to HPE’s best practices.

Daisy’s Pre-sales and Professional Services teams were also deployed to agree a design for the storage solution, this was consequently installed as part of a managed project that included customer acceptance testing, knowledge transfer and a data transfer methodology proof of concept (POC). Formal training was also provided to some members of the customer’s own IT team.

In addition, Daisy carried out a POC virtual server migration programme to demonstrate the migration process, that then allowed the university to migrate the remaining virtualised estate.

The Result

As a result of deploying the HPE Nimble Storage Solution, the University of Greenwich now has a more resilient solution and utilises the benefits of AI and Machine Learning that was introduced with the HPE InfoSight product.

This is a huge part of why HPE offer 99.9999% availability on the Nimble storage arrays by predicting and preventing issues before they occur using their experience of issues that have been experienced elsewhere in the world. The solution also blocks potential issues with upgrade processes and ensures that everything is performing efficiently all the way up from the hardware to the virtualised environment.

As is the case with many higher education institutions, Environmental, Sustainability and Governance (ESG) commitments are always a consideration. And, with the introduction of the all-flash storage arrays, the university now benefits from substantial power and cooling savings which would go some way to reducing its carbon footprint.

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  • Sector: Education
  • No. Employees: 1,001-5,000
  • Services Taken: Servers, Storage & Virtualisation, Managed Services

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