The University of Salford is embarking on a 13 month datacentre transformation project to virtualise and enable shared services.
The cloud-based IT infrastructure will see storage, servers and networking equipment integrated, and Microsoft Exchange 2010 upgraded. Unisys will design and implement the infrastructure for £5.7m.
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The upgrade will support the university's teaching and ensure the establishment can share virtual resources with other institutions.
It will make it possible for the university to provide live streaming and recording of lectures, make video, text and web-based course material available online and offer mobile video conferencing.
Staff and students will get secure access to the university network from their personal laptops and mobile devices.
As part of the project, the university, which has 95 IT staff and 20,000 students, will also use the new centralised IT infrastructure to reduce its carbon footprint.
"Significant changes are taking place in the UK's higher education system," said Derek Drury, CIO at the University of Salford. "Students today need access to quality information systems, with flexibility to study in a way that suits them."
"A modern, virtualised technology platform is the key to delivering those requirements, so this data centre transformation project is critical to our business plan," added Drury.