Case studies / Lawnswood School Extends Hardware Life

Lawnswood School Extends Hardware Life and Performance for their Students and Staff

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“Visibly improved performance had been returned to the users, and this really helped the end user experience.”

Benefits

• No reboot deployment for performance improvements – with no additional hardware

• Storage latency and throughput dramatically improved

• True “set and forget” management

• Compatible with all SAN/NAS, cloudbased, and SSD systems

• “Time Saved” benefits dashboard

• Increased storage longevity leads to a reduction in total cost of ownership.

Environment

• Key applications: Impero Education Pro, Microsoft Word, Excel &PowerPoint, Adobe Dreamweaver, File and Print

• Hypervisor: 3 x VMware vSphere 6.5

• Storage: HP MSA 2040

Features

IntelliWrite® automatically prevents fragmentation from occurring when a file is typically broken apart into pieces before being written to storage, for greater efficiency.

IntelliMemory® intelligent caching technology caches active data for read requests using only idle, available server memory.

“Time Saved” Benefits Dashboard shows ongoing benefit of the software by revealing the amount of I/O offloaded from storage and how much time that saves.

Disk Storage IO Reduction – Lawnswood School reduced storage I/O traffic by 43%, eliminating nearly three billion storage requests from having to be dealt with by their Storage Area Network (SAN), saving over 149 days of accumulative storage time.

IT staff at Lawnswood School in Leeds, United Kingdom used Condusiv’s V-locity and Diskeeper software to extend the life of their storage hardware and maintain great performance for their students and staff. As happy customers for some years, they shared their experience with another school that was suffering from bad IT performance and their recommendation resulted in a doubling of performance.

Condusiv’s software delivered a significantly faster IT environment with no additional hardware being required.

THE CUSTOMER

Lawnswood School is a successful comprehensive school for 11-18 year olds in northwest Leeds, which according to Ofsted can boast one of the best performing sixth form in Leeds for progress and attainment; making Lawnswood School one of the top performing 20% in the country.

Their IT environment supports a workload that is split between the students and the staff. On any given school day, there are around 1,200 student workloads comprising of millions of small files and documents being created and used by eager students. These could be web sites being constructed with Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents and of course a great deal of Web surfing that hits the SAN storage via the proxy server that keeps the students safe when online.

The same environment supports around 200 staff, creating and implementing engaging lesson plans that make full use of information technology. Moreover, the IT environment copes with all of the usual back office operations that you would expect in any organisation, such as anti virus and anti malware, IT security, file and print, communication and messaging solutions and more.

One solution in particular that is useful for the staff, is Impero that supports IT staff and teachers with classroom control features that allow them to focus on delivering great education and IT support, in a safe online environment.

THE CONDUSIV BENEFITS

“I was able to support the IT environment at Lawnswood school with an HP MSA 2000 SAN for 8 years, thanks to Condusiv’s I/O reduction software.” Said Noel Reynolds, IT Manager at Lawnswood School.

“In fact, I saw no storage performance problems at all and only ended up replacing the old storage because of a hardware failure. Until that point, it performed admirably and given the workload that it was supporting, that is a great advertisement for Condusiv’s I/O reduction software, right there!” Noel continued.

“Condusiv’s V-locity software eliminated almost 50% of all storage I/O requests from having to be dealt with by the disk storage (SAN) layer, and that meant that when replacing the old SAN storage with a ‘like-for-like’ HP MSA 2040, V-locity gave me the confidence to make the purchase without having to over-spend to over-provision the storage in order tocope with all the excess unnecessary storage I/O traffic that V-locity efficiently eliminates.”

“In real terms, it meant that I could have more SAS drives for greater storage capacity and less in the more expensive tier 1 SSD layer, because V-locity boosted the storage performance for me with its intelligent RAM caching solution. This represented a very real and very valuable cost saving for the school.”

THE CONDUSIV RECOMMENDATION

Knowing how well the IT environment was performing at Lawnswood School, another school reached out to Noel for help, as their IT environment was almost identical, but suffering from slow and sluggish performance. They also had three VMware hosts of the same specification, the older HP MSA 2000 SAN storage and workloads that were pretty much identical. Noel Reynolds noted that: “They were almost a ‘clone’ school.”

He continued: “I did the usual checks to discover why it wasn’t working well, such as upgrading the firmware, checking the disks for errors and found nothing wrong other than bad storage performance. After comparing the storage latency I found that Lawnswood School’s disk storage was 20 times faster, even though the hardware, software and workload types were pretty much identical.”

“We identified six of the ‘most hit’ servers and installed Condusiv’s software on them. Within 24 hours, we saw a 50% boost in performance. Visibly improved performance had been returned to the users, and this really helped the end user experience.”

“A great example of a real world solution.” Noel concluded.