Datacom boosts school IT performance with tailored storage solution

Knox Grammar School is an independent boys’ school established by the Uniting Church in 1924.

Located in Wahroonga on Sydney’s North Shore, Knox Grammar has two campuses, the Preparatory School (Kindergarten to Year 6) and the Senior School (Years 7 to 12) offering broad educational opportunities for around 2,500 boys.As a leading academic institution, all classrooms are equipped with the latest technologies and the school also provides wide ranging sporting and cultural activities through its on-campus aquatic, music and drama centres. 

The Challenge

In 2014, as part of the schools’ regular three-year storage review, Knox initially approached five solution integrators, including Datacom, requesting  an upgraded storage solution, with an emphasis on improving the school's aging disaster recovery systems. The major requirement was to deliver a storage boost ensuring the schools performance and capacity needs would be met and covered until the next five-year storage cycle.

Datacom firstly assessed what Knox Grammar was looking for by conducting a number of planning sessions with the school and then using this information to outline possible solutions that would not only meet their needs now but position them well for the future.

The Solution

Knox was impressed by the Datacom solution, which recommended the school deploy a Nimble Storage CS240 array on each campus, with full replication between the devices.

The Nimble Storage provided the specific architecture to meet the schools immediate needs with flash storage to speed up responses, good hardware replication and compression and the ease of use which allowed workloads to be spread to other IT staff, improving overall operational efficiency.

The school’s appliances are now much easier to operate compared to the old complex storage systems and it is also now much easier to clone virtual machines, set up test environments or access old snapshots of servers or data.  

"Datacom really dug into our requirements and designed a solution to meet our needs. The proactive monitoring offered by Nimble engineers, combined with email and telephone alerts, gave Knox's IT department an added element of confidence in the Datacom/Nimble proposal."

Mike Israel - IT Manager, Knox Grammar School

The Result

The Datacom proposal has worked well for Knox. The Nimble arrays now have all Knox's storage for their virtual environment, databases and applications and Knox have migrated everything over to Nimble and can take advantage of the replication and snapshots.

Nimble's technology and the use of flash storage to speed up responses has greatly simplified Knox's storage management.

Additionally, the ability to manage in the face of a disaster has been further boosted with the implementation of VMware SRM (Site Recovery Manager).

Datacom's solution provides Knox Grammar with an expandable and reliable IT storage solution that requires much less maintenance and support and which the school can build on as its needs arise.