Teach your children well. Their IT purgatory will surely go by…” I’ve stretched the lyrics a bit, but not the meaning. Crosby, Stills & Nash were making a good point in that classic song: In order to prepare our children to be the innovators of the future, it’s really important how we teach them, not just what we teach them. High tech education requires infrastructure that can keep up with the latest technology advances.
The reality is, any datacenter can experience an outage. When servers are down in a college or school district, the applications that students and teachers rely on are down. In legacy IT environments, downed servers can take hours or days to recover. High performance hyperconverged solutions, on the other hand, can get apps back online in seconds. That kind of resiliency and responsiveness in the datacenter helps teachers perform at their best in the classroom, which helps students learn faster.
Technology can be a bottleneck for learning
I have great respect for teachers. They need to simplify the world for their students, keeping up with the latest developments in their specific field and presenting information in simple, clear terms. In a way, they are always on stage, always needing to perform at the highest level in the classroom.
The technology that school districts rely on should be no different: simple, highly available, and continuously performing at the highest levels. In many cases, that’s easier said than done. The latest high tech devices are not always an option for educational facilities with limited resources and tight budgets. School districts that boast cutting-edge education for the students often have to settle for older technology in the IT environment:
- Siloed IT devices and apps that are complex to manage and difficult to scale
- Outdated equipment that has all but outgrown the allocated space in the IT closet
- Slow data recovery capabilities and poor performance that cannot accommodate innovative teaching methods and programs
Hyper simple, hyper cost-effective. Hyperconverged.
For IT administrators, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) offers a relatively easy way out of old school technology for three reasons. The first is that HCI is simple. Storage, compute, networking and data services are all together in a single compact building-block this is easy to deploy, manage and scale. Second, HCI offers high performance through all-flash technology and built-in dedupe and compression. And, HCI is cost-effective. In a 2017 study, Forrester Consulting found that HCI reduces total cost of ownership (TCO) by 69% on average compared to traditional IT.
Hyperconverged Infrastructure in today’s top schools
An increasing number of customers have turned aging infrastructures around with HCI. For many of them, their only regret is that they didn’t adopt hyperconverged technology sooner. For example, the Janesville school district budget was extremely limited, but the systems administrator could no longer avoid the IT system’s poor performance issues. She admits their IT department worked in a reactive state, simply putting out fires rather than focusing on more important projects. If a problem arose, the amount of time for a server to reboot, come back up, and get services back online was unacceptable. They chose HPE SimpliVity powered by Intel® to move off of their old SAN and server infrastructure, and to simplify management. The new HCI platform lets them back up and restore 500 GB VMs within seconds, and demonstrates cost savings of over 3x compared to their legacy solution. “That’s a vast difference from the way we used to operate. We’ve gone from sitting around biting our nails, waiting for something to reboot, to an instant, stress-free fix.”
In a recent article, Luther College attests to the performance and simplicity of HPE SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure. Students there explore topics like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality. Last year, students sent their experiments to the International Space Station. Their chief technology officer knows: Traditional approaches to learning can stifle education. When it was time to update an aging IT system, they turned to HPE SimpliVity to transform operations. The new HCI was simple to deploy and manage, and it helped them cut costs and save datacenter space. Thanks to hyperconvergence, they’re seeing “incredible performance for our end users. We have countless people bringing in new requirements, which is why we need to be flexible. We must view these new challenges as a chance to help students learn better… The only way we can welcome these demands is because we know we can rely on HPE SimpliVity.”
Tulare school district’s fractured IT environment was becoming increasingly risky and costly to operate and scale. The IT organization relied on an outdated tape-based backup solution that was slow and inefficient. Equipment failures or disasters had the potential to disrupt IT services for hours while servers were rebuilt and data restored. The district deployed HPE SimpliVity infrastructure and reduced backup times from 60 hours to about a minute. HPE SimpliVity’s data efficiencies also help conserve storage capacity and save money. “HPE SimpliVity improved our performance, reliability and data protection,” says the director of technology. “It is probably the best purchase I’ve made.”
To learn more about how hyperconvergence can drive simplicity and efficiency in your datacenter, download the free e-book, Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Dummies.