School District Successfully Deploys IT Infrastructure of New High School Within Tight Project Schedule

2/4/2013 | Case Study | 0 Comments |

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Challenge

A Pittsburgh area school district was building a new high school with a ribbon-cutting date set for the upcoming winter-spring semester. This large-scale project included the efforts of several contractors and vendors contributing to each layer of the facility. In order for the school to be completed on time, within budget and according to the needs of the district, it was critical that all of these moving parts came together smoothly. The project leaders sought a reliable partner that could fully own the deployment of the IT infrastructure -- one that had the appropriate breadth of data center expertise and the ability to work seamlessly within both the processes and timetables of the larger project.

Solution

The school district’s IT leaders architected an infrastructure that consisted of:

  • HP ProCurve switches, storage and blade servers
  • WHIPTAIL flash-based storage
  • VMware vSphere
  • Several wireless access points throughout the school

MCPc was chosen as the sole IT partner to deploy all of this hardware based on a few factors. MCPc had the breadth of expertise they were looking for, with certifications and experience in all of the above manufacturer technologies. This would allow the district to work with one vendor for the entire infrastructure, bringing simplification to a complicated project. Plus, as an institution dealing with typical education funding restraints, they also appreciated that MCPc could bring to bear all the necessary resources while fitting within the project budget. MCPc was also able to send its project managers to several planning stage meetings so that they could align with their counterparts orchestrating the construction and ensure synchronization between the two teams.

Perhaps the most critical advantage MCPc brought was the ability to pre-configure and stage the hardware at its local configuration center prior to the deployment date. This made possible a rapid, smooth deployment once the school facility was ready for the IT infrastructure.

Once deployment was successfully completed, MCPc engineers provided video-taped training sessions on managing the vSphere and storage environments.

Results

A smooth, problem-free IT infrastructure deployment was one piece of the successful overall construction. As a result, the district was able to open the facility in January in time for the second semester of the school year. The new 300,000 square-foot school replaced a much smaller, outdated building and immediately impressed students and parents with its state-of-the-art technology resources. In the data center, the WHIPTAIL and HP storage augmented with VMware gives IT the compute power and flexibility to support the expected growth in service usage, as well as scale for future needs. And the ubiquitous wireless coverage enables the connected educational and social experience that students and teachers have come to expect.



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