St Mary Redcliffe & Temple School
NetApp & S3 Consulting provide St Mary Redcliffe & Temple School with a flexible & scalable storage solution
A school with over 430 years of distinguished history, St Mary’s Redcliffe &Temple is the only Church of England Voluntary Aided Secondary School in the city and diocese of Bristol, Avon, with its 1,600 students only being admitted following the application of the Governors’ policy on enrollment. The school’s last government inspection described it as “an outstanding Church of England School” where “the quality of Christian concern for staff and students is remarkable,” a combination that leads to “a very good education” in which “pupils make good progress and attain high standards”. Some 87% of St Mary Redcliffe & Temple students achieved 5A*-C grades at GCSE last summer and 70% achieved 5A*-C, including English and Maths. The School has a staff complement of 120.
Working to tight deadlines of just a few weeks in April 2010, NetApp has helped a leading school in Bristol meet its commitment to secure sensitive pupil data, meet the increasing demand for the ability to store large amounts of content to aid the student journey and to curb costs by facilitating a rapid move to virtualisation – on both the server and storage fronts.
The NetApp FAS 2020. Applications: Virtualisation, De- duplication, Green IT, iSCSI, NAS, Scale-out storage
- By use of the unique NetApp shared storage array and a move to a virtualised environment, the school has been able to manage and operate its storage and computing assets in general in a centralised, much more efficient way.
- A major leap forward has been the practical application of de- duplication ‘out of the box’ with NetApp, with the school as a result being much more space efficient. A welcome side effect of that move has been greater disaster recovery availability.
- The school has a secure platform to meet all its Data Compliance Act needs The virtualisation move has brought immediate benefits in cost, server footprint size
- St Mary’s Redcliff and Temple is now able – thanks to reduced physical storage and reduced power load – to meet agreed- upon Green standards it committed to as part of a local initiative. This information has already been shared with partners and the community, improving the school’s image
- Cloud computing will be much easier to move to when appropriate
- Enhanced service delivery to all ICT users in the school – teachers and pupils
Efficiency is not the word Alistair Cairns, Network Manager at St Mary’s, says he would use to describe the state of storage in his environment pre the move to NetApp: “We were always moving chunks of data round to fit where they could, it was all very time consuming and meant we were offline a lot,” in fact being how he recalls the situation. Something had to change.
An outdated server overhead had prompted this move, explains Cairns, a situation that had led to a market evaluation of a more modern storage area network (SAN).
Utilising funding as part of the recently-closed £55bn Building Schools For The Future project, Cairns and his team was able to convince his local authority by solid business case evidence that a move to the NetApp environment made most sense as a way to combat the challenges the current environment was placing on the institution. So taking the opportunity of the short Easter 2010 break, Cairns initiated a move to a completely new environment based on NetApp, which he says has delivered a robust, reliable alternative that came in with the minimum of disruption to the School’s running.
“When people ask me about the move to virtual storage, I just say that for us it worked, I see the £58,000 investment we made with NetApp to have been very much worth it.”
“We now have a two-tier storage architecture that has given us excellent disaster recovery and resilience, as well as the usual benefits a move to virtualised storage can offer,” says Cairns. Citing the professional and technically very competent approach taken by the NetApp deployment team, he also believes change management was not an issue in the transition to the new environment – an important consideration in a busy school!