Learn why Woodrush High School chose Trustco to deliver a storage solution which hugely improved efficiency, performance and manageability.    

Woodrush High School is an academy for students aged from 11-18. An outstanding school in Worcestershire, the academy is committed to ensuring their students receive the excellent education that they deserve. With 1,000 students and 130 staff, who rely on the computer systems, the organisation is heavily dependent on their IT systems for most day to day tasks.

Project

Woodrush High School has been partnering with Trustco on a variety of IT Infrastructure projects since 2012 and so when it came to updating its outdated SAN solution, Peter Coates, IT Technician, turned to Trustco to help advise him on the best and most cost-effective options available.

The existing SAN was slow, undersized and no longer delivering the performance required, as well as starting to become unreliable with age. Gavin Bennison, Senior Account Manager at Trustco, worked closely with Peter to help clearly define his project drivers from the start.

Drivers

The school required a resilient SAN solution which would:

  • Improve on the performance of the previous solution to help support the School as its infrastructure and estate continues to grow
  • Be easy to operate and manage
  • Be future proof and allow for a simple and cost-effective expansion as and when required
  • Meet strict budget requirements

Peter says; “We are a small, hands-on team who are and do not always have the time to research every new technology on the market. Trustco works with us to define our challenges and then go through a full review, design consultation to develop a solution that meets our needs.”

At Gavin’s recommendation, Woodrush previously purchased a basic QSAN NAS to address file storage capacity issues.  They were so impressed with the device and technology that it made sense to strongly consider QSAN’s XCube series for the SAN replacement. After doing the required due diligence and receiving alternative proposals and quotations from other suppliers, the QSAN solution proposed by Trustco was selected by the school governors as it provided the desired features and performance required as well as coming in at the most competitive price-point.”

The Solution

QSAN Technology is a global manufacturer of enterprise storage solutions based in Taiwan with UK commercial and technical teams. With its own proprietary hardware and software, QSAN’s solutions provide outstanding performance, reliability, and cost-effectiveness to businesses in more than 30 countries around the world.

The QSAN XCube offered Woodrush a highly resilient solution, with active-active mode dual controllers, redundant fan modules, and power supplies, dedicated hot spares, auto volume rebuilding, rapid RAID rebuilding, network port failover/failback as well as file and block level snapshot, remote replication, and cloning features.

Peter added, “Our IT team trust Gavin’s recommendations and this gives us the confidence to explore new solutions as we know they will be a good fit for the school”.

Evaluation

Trustco and QSAN set up a web demonstration, which allowed Peter to log in at any time from anywhere to explore all the features. Peter loved the GUI, he could set up storage pools and arrays, workout disks capacities and RAID configurations all from the comfort of his desk. This allowed him to review speed, reliability, and resilience of the solution before purchasing.

After review, the order was placed and the SAN was delivered the following week, fully configured from the factory, ready to plug in. The solution was so intuitive that the installation was completed by Peter with technical support on hand if he required this.

Outcomes

High resilience: Dual controllers and fully redundant hardware offer peace of mind taking away single point of failure, allowing the school to have a highly available storage platform to support internal SLAs. With true hardware RAID error checking is being done in real time, this is a feature normally found only on high-end NAS/SAN or dedicated server controller cards.

Future proofing through scalability:  Expandable to over 2PB of storage via a pay as you grow model and with the QSAN modular system supporting the ability to add ports and throughput the QSAN solution allows the school to manage all future growth in capacity and any increase in applications and service demands.

Reporting capabilities: The solution is easy to manage and any alerts are reported immediately by email. The previous solution would only notify Peter when there was a power cut, reboot or complete failure, allowing Peter to proactively manage his storage infrastructure helping reduce risk and improve SLAs.

Pricing: The initial investment costs were favourable for a budget-conscious school but best of all there is no software or ongoing licensing fees – it’s all included – which makes budgeting easier for Peter and offers them a significantly faster ROI.

Final say 

Peter commented; “The QSAN solution has given us an enterprise-class solution but at a fraction of the cost of traditional storage vendors. The performance, features, and hardware of the QSAN SAN will allow the school significant growth and the ability to handle more workloads for the next few years and beyond.

“Trustco and our account manager; Gavin, continues to go the extra mile. Gavin’s depth of technical knowledge is remarkable and he is not just a salesman covering the basics. He takes the time to understand our requirement properly and delivers every time”.

Woodrush High School

Sector

Education

Solutions provided

Data Storage

Customer Quote

“I trust Trustco to understand the school’s IT challenges, work up a specification and deliver against this based on their experience. They understand the marketplace and provide us with objective technical advice and guidance, saving us time and money. This has proved invaluable in the past.”

 

Peter Coates, IT Technician, Woodrush High School