University of Chichester

Virtualised environment increasing resilience

reducing carbon footprint

University of Chichester

We now have a much easier upgrade path for service packs or new software releases, as this can be done in parallel virtual images. In addition to the increased resilience of our communications infrastructure, we have also benefited from a much reduced server ‘footprint’ and around a 25% reduction in power usage. This is all thanks to the virtualisation, which is of course invisible to the users.

Di Peachment, IT Technical Specialist at University of Chichester

The Background

The vision of the University of Chichester is to become an internationally recognised beacon of good practice for high quality and student-centred higher education within a supportive community.

With over 5000 students, 900 staff, two campuses and around 40 buildings, issues such as social responsibility, Fairtrade, sustainability and minimising environmental impact are important to the university. This encompasses their telecommunications infrastructure and power usage.

This encompasses their telecommunications infrastructure and power usage. The University of Chichester is a customer of Daisy Corporate Services (formerly Damovo UK).

The Challenge

The existing (formally Aastra) Mitel MX-ONE® platform and Solidus eCare™ Contact Centre needed to be upgraded to improve the resilience of the communications environment. At the time the MX-ONE communications server and contact centre were using older software releases and some of the technology was installed on old servers. Whilst there was some back-up power in place, there was no formal policy for resilience.The requirement for improved business continuity plans encompassed the entire IT infrastructure and included the need to maximise ‘uptime’ and ensure continuity of service in the voice platforms.

The requirement for improved business continuity plans encompassed the entire IT infrastructure and included the need to maximise ‘uptime’ and ensure continuity of service in the voice platforms.

Brian Riggs, Research Director, Current Analysis at Univeristy of Chichester said: “Businesses deploying communications and contact centre applications in virtualised environments have reported tens of thousands of dollars in hardware and cabling costs savings, and tens of thousands more in reduced power and cooling costs.”

The Solution

Daisy had been supplying and supporting Mitel voice platforms to the university for many years and, as a trusted partner, was selected to design a resilient solution.

As part of the review of the entire IT infrastructure, the university chose to upgrade the software on the MXONE platform and the Solidus eCare Contact Centre (a multimedia Contact Centre that provides contact handling by phone, email, text, web and social media).

Upgrading the software would enable the university to achieve a phased renewal of the platform and to move into a virtual environment by choosing the VMware® based option for MX-ONE. MX-ONE 5.0 and its applications can be run as virtual machines in a VMware environment. This would provide hardware consolidation and enhanced resiliency options such as High Availability and Fault Tolerance.

The Result

Both campuses now have in-built resilient links backed by automatic failover mechanisms to the Janet network (a UK-wide network dedicated to research and education customers).

The modular concept and the use of the IP infrastructure by MX-ONE mean that customers can either network multiple servers across sites (supporting up to 500,000 users) or deploy a centralised system with the servers at a central location and with one virtual server supporting up to 5000 SIP users. The resilience available with MXONE also includes options such as multiple routes of networking and dual registration of handsets.

The upgrade has enabled the university to achieve a resilient design which will provide continuous service at both of the main campus locations in the event of a network failure. This approach has allowed the university to phase expenditure over time as part of a smooth migration process, without disruption to the user experience. The use of a software-based virtual environment also facilitates an easier upgrade path for future developments and software releases.

Daisy provided the university with expert support throughout the process to ensure that the move from a server-based environment to a virtualised environment was efficient and smooth for both the hardware and the software.

IT Technical Specialist at University of Chichester, Di Peachment, explains further: “We now have a much easier upgrade path for service packs or new software releases, as this can be done in parallel virtual images. In addition to the increased resilience of our communications infrastructure, we have also benefited from a much reduced server ‘footprint’ and around a 25% eduction in power usage. This is all thanks to the virtualisation, which is of course invisible to the users.”

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Duncan Gosling

About Duncan Gosling

Duncan Gosling is a Marketing Manager at Daisy Corporate Services.