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Salford University finalises IT revamp

Karl Flinders

Salford University is finalising a transformational IT project which includes a network link with the BBC’s Media City.

Two years ago Salford University embarked on a complete IT upgrade after realising its infrastructure was not up to the job. The project will be complete next month when it moves 5,000 PCs and devices from Novell to Microsoft Active Directory. Following planning and tendering, the project took 15 months to complete. 

Derek Drury, CIO at Salford University, was brought in from the private sector following a critical report about the university’s IT. The project was outsourced to Unisys.

He said the state of the infrastructure at the university's one datacentre had made maintenance difficult.

“We had a very old infrastructure and had been refreshing on an ad hoc basis,” said Drury.

Every server and switch in the infrastructure has been renewed and all 280 servers virtualised.

The university also built a new datacentre and completely revamped its existing one. At the same time the University has built a 10GB network link with the BBC’s neighbouring Media City complex. This provides teaching resources for the university’s media studies students.

Working with networking supplier BT iNet, the university has implemented a Cisco-based network that offers 23,000 students and 3,500 staff connectivity from halls of residence and on campus.

Students and staff have smart cards which grants them access to applications and rooms automatically, depending on their profiles.


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