IT Support Team, Consultancy & Installation Specialists, providing services across the Northwest, including Wigan, Lancashire, Liverpool and Greater Manchester
What is virtualisation?
Virtualisation is a revolutionary technology that can transform the way IT is delivered in schools and businesses across the country. By increasing redundancy, security but most of all allowing easy expansion, virtualisation is empowering schools to take the next leap in the technological revolution.
By converting your existing infrastructure to virtualised servers, you can save electricity and maintenance costs, whilst future-proofing your organisation. The possibilities virtualisation offers are seemingly endless, and it can be quickly altered to suit your needs.
Our Microsoft certified engineers, can quickly access your current environment and help you design a plan to begin this ambitious transformation. Whether you are a small or large organisation, we can help with everything from budgeting right through to project delivery and completion.
Our preferred platform is Hyper-V as we believe a better value product, although we also have experience in the deployment and use of VMWare ESX for customers wishing to use this platform.
In July 2014, we began an upgrade at Hope School to convert their existing server infrastructure into a fully virtualised solution. As the school continued to grow, they required the flexibility to add additional functionality on the fly.
The school had already purchased two HP ProLiant servers, but both were running as standalone servers. In order to facilitate the migration, and ensure a smooth transition, we began the planning and design phase in January 2014.
The capacity of the servers was identified as an issue, so we allocated funding in our April budget renewal to increase the performance of the servers by adding additional CPU’s and RAM.
A clear project plan was created and circulated to staff, allowing us to inform them of the scheduled downtime. The majority of the work was carried out over a two-week period during the summer break to minimise disruption.
The original active directory domain was kept intact, but all other services were overhauled and segregated to provide redundancy. As a result of the work carried out in 2014, the school has benefited significantly in the following years.
As we prepare to become a multi-site organisation, we will be quickly able to integrate additional servers. Since the original migration to Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2, we have continued to maintain and update the system. We now run the latest Windows Server 2016 operating system and have since added a further two virtualisation hosts to the cluster.
Following the success of this project, we began to carry out similar work at our other sites. Although there was some hesitation towards the initial costs, all schools have been appreciative of the transformative power virtualisation can offer. Susan Sollars, Business Manager at St James CofE Primary School commented that this work enabled the school to be “ahead of the rest” and “ready for any eventuality” that occurred during the year.