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  • Cloud infrastructure, supported by Dell and VMware, allows Janet to sample secure external datacentre services to research and education institutions
  • Improved flexibility and manageability shows the potential to cut internal IT staff workloads by reducing the time spent on deploying servers.
  • Cloud project builds on long-standing, end-to-end customer partnership

Janet, the national, not-for-profit IT network for research and education in the UK, has harnessed services available through its Cloud and Data Centre Framework by piloting the deployment of Dell Cloud with VMware ® vCloud™ Datacenter Services. Janet Brokerage provides research and education partners with access to industry-leading, agile and resilient IT infrastructure at an affordable price, saving institutions considerable time and cost when procuring cloud-based resources.

By connecting its primary internal datacentre environment to the Dell Cloud, Janet has benefitted from an agile and secure hybrid environment. Janet’s on-premise datacentre, which is primarily made up of Dell equipment, was shown to seamlessly interoperate with Dell’s public cloud to deliver infrastructure resources and solutions to employees. The hybrid cloud means that internal IT staff can now transition virtualized workloads from the primary datacentre into the cloud and deliver new hosted services to staff. This supports collaborative working and enables greater flexibility in the delivery of new services.

With more than 18 million end-users from UK universities, further education colleges, research councils, specialist colleges and adult and community teaching providers, Janet’s aim is to enhance research and education through IT. Following an initial consultation with Dell, which included a series of webinars, assessments and workshops, Janet is now able to offer employees IT resources that meet fluctuating resource demands, ensuring cost efficiency. By working in a hybrid model, the internal IT team can save resources on every server deployed in the Dell Cloud vs. the primary datacentre, enabling time and efforts to be refocused on delivering an improved service to customers.

The business has deployed multiple generations of Dell PowerEdge servers, and currently uses Dell PowerEdge R710s, many of which are used to host a virtualized environment utilising VMware vSphere™ 4.1 server software. These servers are connected to Dell EqualLogic PS4000E storage arrays and Dell PowerVault MD3200i storage arrays to ensure data is protected and easy to access. Dell PowerConnect 6224 switches are used to connect the storage to the servers, and the environment is backed up using a Dell CommVault™ solution with Dell PowerVault devices. In addition to standardising its virtualized datacentre with Dell, Janet has also deployed Dell KACE management appliances and Dell Latitude laptops to support mobile working. This latest project further demonstrates how Janet and Dell support research and education customers with enterprise-class infrastructure and solutions to push the traditional boundaries of teaching, learning and research methods.

“I started talking to Dell soon after we selected it as one of eight world-class cloud infrastructure suppliers on the new Janet Cloud and Data Centre Framework”, said Peter Kent, Head of Corporate Infrastructure Services at Janet. “We already knew that Dell was running a pilot project for its cloud service and we wanted to join to put to the test services we’re offering through our framework.”

“Cost and operational efficiencies continue to be a primary concern for public sector institutions with regards to IT, and yet we encouragingly see an unfaltering commitment to innovation. At Dell, we understand the importance of security, interoperability and ease of management in on-premise, cloud-based and hybrid environments, and our expertise in the public sector is perfectly positioned to support education and research institutions across EMEA and beyond”, said Claire Vyvyan, director and general manager – public sector at Dell. “Working with Janet to combine the expertise of our public services business and our cloud capabilities is an exciting opportunity for us.”

About Janet
Janet provides a world-class network infrastructure to meet the needs of the UK’s research and education community. The Janet backbone consists of over 5,000 km of dedicated optical fibre, which can run at 100Gbit/s. With over 25 years of uninterrupted service to date, the Janet network now has a community of 18 million users. Janet additionally provisions services, including videoconferencing, voice and cloud computing.

The concept of a community underpins everything Janet does and the network is based on the need for organisations to communicate, collaborate and co-operate in the shared interests of education and research.

Janet manages the operation and development of the network on behalf of JISC for the UK Further and Higher Education Funding Councils with the primary aim of providing and developing a network infrastructure that meets the needs of the research and education communities. JISC also works in partnership with the Research Councils.

Janet Brokerage and the University Modernisation Fund
Janet Brokerage is helping the research and education sector adopt cloud and data centre services. This is a part of a suite of activities under the £12.5 million University Modernisation Fund Shared Services and Cloud Programme run by JISC and funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). This programme of work aims to help universities and colleges deliver better efficiency and value for money through the development of shared services.

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