NexStor transforms Virtual Estate for Trinity Hall at the University of Cambridge

Trinity Hall

NexStor transforms the Virtual Estate for Trinity Hall at the University of Cambridge: speeds four times faster and storage capacity increased to more than 10TB after total infrastructure refresh.

London, UK – 11th December 2014 – NexStor, one of the UK’s leading storage and server consolidation specialists, has carried out a complete overhaul of the storage infrastructure for Trinity Hall at the University of Cambridge: speeding up its virtual estate, increasing the storage capacity of the staff network to above 10TB and virtualising its large file server. By installing new DELL PowerEdge R720 servers with a Nimble CS-Series array, upgrading and migrating VMware and deploying Veeam for backup, the NexStor team has transformed the system, cutting data backups from 24 hours to just a couple of hours, improving the performance of batch jobs and giving the college more confidence to add new and upgrade applications.

NexStor managed the seamless installation with zero down-time, with no impact on the college’s students, fellows and staff.

One of Cambridge University’s oldest colleges, Trinity Hall has almost 120 staff users. All expect a highly available, highly reliable IT service: from network and PC management to CCTV, door entry and access to web servers. The college also hosts an extensive image library.

Students’ and staff’s demands on Trinity Hall’s existing storage systems are constantly growing. The college’s five-year-old SAN needed upgrading and was simply too small to keep up with increasing demands on capacity and speed. And although much of the IT system was virtualised, the large file server was still physical as the existing SAN had no capacity to import it.

With NexStor’s help, the Trinity Hall IT team drew up a list of must-haves from their next, primary storage system. With reliability, performance and scalability at the top of the list, the team also rated as critical length of service life, cost and how quickly a new system could be deployed.

The NexStor team used its specialist knowledge to find the most suited technologies. Engineers worked on site for five days, helping to plan and deliver the infrastructure’s installation. They also managed a VMWare upgrade, and migrated the college’s vast data sets to the new infrastructure. All this was accomplished with zero down-time.

Trinity Hall Cambridge IT manager Eric Marcus, said: “NexStor guided us through the process and the team’s advice, knowledge and skills have been invaluable. We now have a storage system that’s fit for purpose and that will grow as our needs grow. The on-going support NexStor provides means we’ll be one step ahead as we face new IT challenges, as well as giving us peace of mind.”

Troy Platts, founder and joint Managing Director at NexStor, said: “It’s always important to get your storage right – without it most organisations would just stop functioning. But there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every organisation needs something different, whether it’s capacity, real-time speeds or round-the-clock service. It’s fantastic to be able to help find the storage that’s going to help an organisation work more effectively and really perform.”

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Troy Platts

Troy has spent over 20 years helping organisations solve their data, storage and compute conundrums. He is a regular speaker at vendor events and spends any free time he has keeping abreast of advances in data platform technologies. He also makes a mean curry.

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