By Carol Shottes, Converged Infrastructure Marketing Manager, HP
If you had a communications network that hadn’t been updated in a decade and a data center with servers and storage systems that were aging and underperforming, where would you expect an IT director to first make improvements? I would have said, “in the data center.” And I would have been wrong. Roxbury Community College’s first priority was to improve the user experience by providing high-speed Internet access for students and teachers. I was excited to learn about RCC’s approach because it demonstrates the importance of the network as the foundation of a converged infrastructure.
The 3-phase approach, with help from HP partner, AdvizeX
First, AdvizeX conducted a comprehensive assessment of RCC’s IT infrastructure (server, storage and network environment) using the Converged Infrastructure Maturity Model.
Based on this detailed assessment, RCC chose a three-phase solution that would improve RCC’s IT services and create a more positive user experience for the entire college community.
- Phase one of the project was to upgrade RCC’s communications network. AdvizeX implemented the HP 7506 Switch Chassis with modular core switches in the data center, replaced outdated Enterasys switches with HP 5120 EL Switch Series at the edge of RCC’s private cloud, and deployed HP MultiService Mobility (MSM) Controllers for wireless connectivity. As a result, the college’s communications network received a huge performance boost, with a tenfold increase in edge switching speeds.
What does a “tenfold improvement” mean for the students and faculty?
Instructors can now stream videos from labs across campus for classroom presentation and discussion. Because everyone has access to high-speed Internet, faculty and staff enjoy faster Microsoft Exchange email and local area network communications. The entire network has been upgraded with enhanced security. RCC’s faculty and staff are also able to use a secure remote access solution which allows them to log into a portal and receive secure access to network resources, making it easy to work from home or other off-campus locations.
“AdvizeX and HP are true advisors and business partners of Roxbury Community College. Together we are transforming our computing environment from the ‘working’ edge to the leading edge. This transformation will improve resources to our faculty and staff, and help us retain and graduate students who are better prepared for the 21st century.”
— Terrence Gomes, President, Roxbury Community College
An added “Eco benefit” from upgrading to HP’s Converged Infrastructure: 20 percent reduction in power and cooling costs
- Phase two of RCC’s IT overhaul will introduce a converged infrastructure comprised of five HP ProLiant BL460 server blades running VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus, replacing 40 end-of-life Dell servers—an 8x reduction in physical server count that provides significant cost of ownership advantages. This virtualized environment will be supported by a HP LeftHand Storage Systems (SAN) solution to maximize performance and reliability while keeping costs under control. In addition, RCC has alleviated its power and cooling demands by 20 percent.
- Phase three of the converged infrastructure solution will implement enhanced HP data protection and security capabilities to ensure maximum protection of the college’s information assets—including full disaster recovery.
I was never so happy to be “wrong.”
It was surprised and happy to learn Roxbury Community College’s approach to modernization was to upgrade the network first – then the data center – because it reinforces my opinion that the network is the foundation of the converged infrastructure. RCC’s priority of improving the user experience means students and facility can count on IT services with the same confidence and assurance as flipping on a light switch when entering a room. It all began with HP Networking, the foundation of a converged infrastructure, and has resulted in an enhanced learning environment, improved energy efficiency and lower environmental impact.
>> Read the entire story: How HP partner AdvizeX helped transform Roxbury Community College from the “working edge” to the “le...
>> Read a related blog about converged infrastructure: HP Converged Infrastructure is not just a buzzword
>> Learn more about HP Converged Infrastructure