Ofsted Infrastrusture Refresh

The Challenge

Implementation and ongoing managed support of a Microsoft Private Cloud solution with over 300TB storage, 500 CPU cores and 8TB RAM.

The Solution

Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) comprising automatically-tiered Hitachi Unified Storage (HUS) and CB500 blades. Core networking (based on Brocade VDX) was included, as was firewalling and load balancing using F5 Big IPs.

Outcomes

Delivered a platform that provided significant computing resource and a highly resilient storage platform. The project also won the REAL IT – IT Project Team of the year 2015 runner up award.

XMA comes out on top

Ofsted issued a tender for the supply, implementation and ongoing managed support of a Microsoft Private Cloud solution with over 300TB storage, 500 CPU cores and 8TB RAM (plus a smaller platform at a second site). The requirement included fully-managed migration of approximately 300 production and test/dev systems to the new platform, while addressing their need for a number of secure network environments including a combined user acceptance testing environment and a Disaster recovery failover.

Hitachi scores “outstanding”

We recognised that Ofsted required a platform that provided significant computing resource and a highly resilient storage platform. In response, we proposed a Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) comprising automatically-tiered Hitachi Unified Storage (HUS) and CB500 blades based on the latest Intel Sandybridge processors. Core networking (based on Brocade VDX) was included, as was firewalling and load balancing using F5 Big IPs. We addressed the solution requirements in their entirety and provided training and migration services on top of hardware, software and extended managed support for the complete infrastructure stack.

As HDS’ largest public sector partner in the UK market, we recognised this as an ideal fit for the HDS Unified Compute Platform. This was an opportunity to introduce a disruptive yet constructive technology, despite the length of relationship with the incumbent technology partner. Our solution provided to Ofsted replaced the entire existing estate as it hurtled past the end of its economic life.

The migration process, which included virtualising over 100 legacy physical servers (including SQL and Exchange clusters), also required the migration of their on-premis datacentre to a secure remote datacentre, all without any business disruption.

Project success leads to opportunity

On completion of the Infrastructure Refresh project, Ofsted engaged with us to develop the platform further by extending the storage layer to a content platform. We are also involved in consulting on the effective use of its infrastructure to achieve delivery of its regulatory and statutory objectives.