Case study: Storage upgrade sharpens school’s focus on student services

By Jennifer Walker

Canada’s Georgian College needed to offer more online courses and provide students with access to their records for a lengthy 75-year retention period. But the Ontario-based school’s existing storage area network (SAN) made that a costly and time-consuming process.

“Everything was a forklift upgrade with our previous SAN, including the software. We had to repurchase licenses when we added hardware, and we had to pay extra for features,” said Systems Administrator Regan Sissons.

By replacing Georgian’s existing  storage technologies with an integrated Dell solution of SAN storage arraysnetwork attached storage (NAS) and disk backup appliances, the school reaped several benefits:

  •          Simplified licensing and stabilized IT spending — “When we buy Dell Storage software, we own it, and we get all the features for one price,” said Sisson. “If we add new controllers, we don’t have to buy the software licenses all over again.” Manager of IT Operations Cori Strathdee noted, “I can better predict the cost of growth and manage unexpected requirements with our Dell Storage solution.”
  •          Improved IT efficiency — “We now spend about half as much time as we used to on management tasks, because we can control our Dell Storage arrays and NAS from the same pane of glass with the Dell Storage Enterprise Manager,” said Strathdee.
  •          Streamlined backup and recovery — “Compared with the disaster recovery equipment we were looking at with another vendor, a Dell DR4000 costs significantly less money,” said Sisson. “We’ve cut our time in half with the FS8600s and DR4000s, and we have the advantage of automated deduplication, compression and recovery.”
  •          Increased focus on goals and innovation — “We can focus on being more strategic… because it’s easier to manage, and it’s faster and more flexible, so we can support more students, online classes and multimedia projects,” said Strathdee. “Students are always asking for IT improvements, including capabilities that make learning easier. Now we can spend more time on things like improving the student portal instead of moving data to different tiers, creating new volumes and things like that.”

Modernize your storage system for greater performance, efficiency and ease of use, including:

  •          Intelligent, automated storage
  •          High-bandwidth and high-capacity storage arrays
  •          Converged storage and compute solutions
  •          Windows® NAS appliances

Dell offers a broad portfolio of storage solutions and services to meet your needs.

For the full story of how Dell worked with Georgian College to create an affordable, streamlined storage solution, read the full case study, ”Increasing opportunities for more college students.”

Contact us to explore storage solutions.

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