The University of Cumbria is undertaking an IT project to develop a cloud infrastructure and has signed a multimillion-pound contract with Manchester-based managed services and cloud specialist ANS Group.
Following a tender process involving 20 service providers, the academic institution selected ANS Group to implement a new fully-managed IT infrastructure that can support its 12,000 students and 1,100 staff over 10 locations.
According to ANS Group, the university’s IT upgrade will help it reduce operational costs and cut IT management time. The university is one of England’s newest university, established in 2007 after the merger of the Cumbrian campuses of the University of Central Lancashire, St Martin's College and the Cumbria Institute of the Arts.
The cloud infrastructure will also offer a flexible, scalable solution for the university as it continues to grow. Flexibility of IT systems is crucial for the university as it would seek to expand its infrastructure to meet future needs.
“The ability for the infrastructure to match our development was a key factor in our decision-making process,” said Colin Coghill, director of IT services from the University of Cumbria.
Moreover, the academic institution will be able to meet its green IT and environmental objectives by cutting 272 tonnes of CO2 and saving about 47% on datacentre cooling costs every year.
ANS Group will deliver the new IT services via a fully-managed FlexPod infrastructure aimed at improving service quality.
Flexpod is a reference architecture for server, storage and networking, which will provide a dense virtual platform with support for nearly double the number of virtual machines per host than is currently available on the existing system.
A FlexPod infrastructure stack consists of NetApp FAS storage, Cisco Systems Inc. Unified Computing System (UCS), and either VMware or Microsoft hypervisor technology.
“The solution will not only free up staff time and reduce costs, it will continuously adapt to suit potential changes over the next five years,” Coghill said.
“ANS demonstrated a strategy of how the flexible IT structure for the university would meet our current and expected future needs,” he added.