It's always interesting to read about projects where IT costs have been reduced by the IT team of a university, and I've had this in my 'must share' list for a while.
Coventry University saves £1m/$1.5m with virtualised network and management tools
As there's a full case study on the Microsoft website about the different activities undertaken by the Coventry University IT team to hit their cost saving targets, all I'll do is summarise the highlights:
- The university IT department were given a target of making $1.5m savings across the campus.
- The project revisited their virtualisation and cloud technologies, to see how they could move forward to save costs
- The university team had originally been using VMware for virtualisation, but had a piecemeal implementation because of the high direct costs of licensing it.
- They reviewed their virtualisation across three competing technologies – Microsoft's Hyper-V, Citrix VirtualBox and VMware.
- After deciding on using Hyper-V in Windows Server, they were able to complete a campus-wide roll out of infrastructure, and supporting management tools.
Where were the savings from?
The results meant that a number of different savings were made:
- Saving in software licences (of over $150,000)
- Reduced infrastructure management costs
- Reduced IT staff headcount (gulp)
- Reduced power and cooling costs by over $40,000 a year, by reducing the number of physical servers and floor space
- 20% lower carbon footprint
And the benefits?
The flip side of the saving message is that the university were also able to improve the IT services provided to their users. For example, they've increased user uptime significantly, by increasing the server resilience and using failover clustering – automatically moving applications between server clusters when there are problems. They're also moving forward on improving their disaster recovery planning, to allow them to replicate their data in real-time, rather than with daily off-site backup and storage.