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Dell helps The Westgate School enhance education excellence and lower costs

The versatile, virtualized solution results in direct cost saving for school.


Date: 24 Jan 2012

Dell is supporting The Westgate School in Slough, Berkshire, by transforming the school’s IT infrastructure in partnership with technology integrator, Krome. The school has invested in an end-to-end solution from Dell, including storage and backup, virtualized servers and desktop PCs. The Westgate School is already seeing the benefits of its new infrastructure; its deployment of a virtualized environment has reduced downtime and provided direct cost savings by removing the need to invest in additional server hardware.


The Westgate School is attended by 930 full-time students and has recently expanded its IT facilities with a modern two-storey technology building, with the aim of enhancing the learning environment for all students. The school required technology to support student studies, whilst accommodating the school’s expansion and infrastructure growth. With the school’s IT storage capacity previously at 80 percent, simple routine management tasks such as backup and capacity expansion were becoming difficult and time consuming. With limited IT budget and a long list of requirements, The Westgate School wanted to be sure that it chose the right technology as well as the right integration partner. Krome was successfully chosen for the project based on its proven experience in implementing similar solutions and its high level vendor accreditations.


The school transitioned from physical servers to a fully virtualized infrastructure based on VMware vSphere. It has also implemented two Dell EqualLogic PS Series iSCSI storage arrays with built-in replication functionality. This new virtual server environment now runs all of the school’s new Dell OptiPlex Desktop PCs as well as its critical applications, including SIMS school management software, Equitrac print solutions, cashless catering system and remote access facilities and Microsoft Exchange 2010. The virtualized solution enables The Westgate School to plan the growth of data consumption in advance and allocate resources to servers based on those plans. At the same time, the solution still provides the flexibility to allocate resources quickly should an application unexpectedly threaten to overload a server. The replication of data to an offsite location afforded by the EqualLogic SAN solution gives The Westgate School unparalleled resiliency.


The practical benefits of the new solution are already being recognised with the school easily avoiding potential disaster when an inadvertent administrative error created unnecessary copies of data that took up a huge amount of memory space. The problem was quickly resolved using the Dell EqualLogic server snapshot functionality. The Westgate School was able to revert the system to a point before the accident occurred. The problem was solved in hours, not days - vastly more efficient than rebuilding the server from scratch, as would have needed to happen in the past.


The combination of a virtual server and storage environment along with replication technology gives The Westgate School a stable and future-proof infrastructure.


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