The University of Dundee drives academic innovation while giving students fast, stable web access across campus with a transformational network solution. Named Scottish University of the Year in The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017 and voted one of the top 10 universities in the U.K. by students taking part in the National Student Survey.
The University of Dundee needed to replace its switching infrastructure and establish a foundation on which to deliver its One IT Strategy, a plan to support academic-led innovation with robust enterprise systems.
Furthermore, the university wanted a financing solution that enabled predictable, monthly payments for its IT.
“We’re at a point of huge technological change in education. IT is transforming the way people form relationships and interact. We need to build on that,” says Jonathan Monk, Director of IT at the University
The university looked to upgrade its campus network, replacing the ageing border gateway routers, core/distribution, data centre and access layer switches. But it wanted to spread payments over a number of years and avoid any significant upfront costs. Monk says, “Our aim was to create a network solution that we could easily scale to meet our IT goals. But, just as importantly, we wanted to work with a solution provider that had financing capabilities.”
The university requested proposals for the campus network and Dell EMC Premier Partner Circle IT responded. Circle IT delivered a joint response with Dell EMC that highlighted the close working relationship between both parties. The university awarded the network project to Circle IT and Dell EMC Networking experts, to design a solution. “We found that Dell EMC and Circle IT really listened to what we wanted to achieve,” says Monk. “What’s more, we were able to focus our resources on operational expenses by working with Dell Financial Services.”
As part of the solution, Circle IT installed Dell EMC Z Series switches at each of the university’s two data rooms. In addition to the wired solution, Circle IT installed a converged wireless solution, including 2x Dell EMC Networking W-7205 Master Wireless Controllers, plus 3x Dell EMC Networking W-7220 Local Wireless Controllers, which in turn control and manage more than 3,000 Dell EMC Networking Access Points.
The university is well on its way to delivering a transformational IT project based on Dell EMC Networking and servers with Intel® Xeon® processors, which will underpin its One IT Strategy.
Students can work more effectively thanks to the Dell EMC network, as well as enjoy their leisure time more. There are no longer WiFi capacity issues in the library because the network provides fast web access for everyone. Students can also use their games consoles and personal devices at the halls of residence.
“We’re delivering the same great experience on both wired and wireless networks through the Dell EMC
solution,” says Monk.
The university isn’t affected by problems with its switching infrastructure, and the IT team doesn’t spend time replacing the old switches as it once did.
With improved reliability, the IT team dedicates more time to working with students and staff face-to-face. It allows them to add value to the university. “People don’t always realise the number of services we can offer tohelp with research or study programmes. We can provide a more visible service thanks to our Dell EMC network and help people gain the full transformational impact that IT offers in education,” says Monk.
“ We can advance our distance study programmes and develop courses for life-long learning through our project with Dell EMC and Circle IT.”
Jonathan Monk, Director of IT, University of Dundee