1-page Solution Brief
Posted: 9/20/2012
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The ADvTECH Group Cloud Solution Helps Firm Reduce Complexity, Cut Costs and Improve IT Efficiency

"By deploying Windows Server 2012, we would reduce our current hardware footprint from three physical blade centers to one blade center. We would also be able to slash our power and hardware costs by about R240, 000 and R1.6 million rand a year respectively.”
Steven Van Zyl, Chief Information Officer, The ADvTECH Group


Business Needs

With 51,200 learners studying in 57 educational sites across South Africa and serviced by 4,000 academic and administrative staff and contractors; the Group needed to ensure that their IT infrastructure would be more than sufficient to cater to the needs of the students, the academics, as well as to the rest of the business. Aside from this, the hardware at the data center needed to be renewed. One way of dealing with this issue was to reduce the Group’s pool of 400 physical servers via virtualization. Doing so would mean a great reduction in power consumption and thereby saving the company a lot of money in utility bills. This would also optimize IT efficiencies. The Group was clear that they needed a cloud solution that would cater for the following key areas:

  • reduce power, licensing and operational costs

  • provide an agile and dynamic virtualization platform

  • utilize the most recent innovations in cloud computing

  • allow the company to deploy solutions quickly

  • simplify IT management

  • offer a more efficient use of storage


Solution

The Group conducted an evaluation of possible virtualization options in the market. It came to the conclusion that Windows Server 2012 would be the most cost-effective and appropriate solution. The Group’s Chief Information Officer, Steven Van Zyl supported this outcome and a way forward was presented to the wider Group for approval.

“By deploying Windows Server 2012, we would reduce our current hardware footprint from three physical blade centers to one blade center. We would also be able to slash our power and hardware costs by about R240, 000 and R1.6 million rand a year respectively,” said van Zyl.

In order to ensure that there was a proper fit with the needs of the business, the following features of the solution were tested by the Group System Engineer (Garret Kerswill). These include:

  • Windows Server Hyper-V (hosting multiple VMs on a physical server)

  • NIC Teaming (prevents connectivity loss, if one network adapter fails)

  • Hyper-V Replica (replicate VMs between data centers)

  • Hyper-V Live Migration (simultaneous migration of VMs with no downtime)


Benefits
  • significant savings in power and hardware costs

  • improved IT efficiency

  • flexible and dynamic private cloud solution

  • able to move VMs with no downtime

  • provide better service to its learners and other clients

  • reduced IT costs

  • increased scalability and faster failover

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview



Organization Size: 4000 employees

Organization Profile

The ADvTECH Group, based in South Africa, was presented with Deloitte’s “Best Company to Work For” award in 2011. The company is listed in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and is one of the leading education and resourcing solutions provider. As at 2011 year end, the Group had 57 education sites, with 51,200 students (35,300 full time) and 4,000 academic and administrative staff and contractors.


Software and Services
  • Windows Server
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2012

Vertical Industries
  • Public Sector
  • Education

Country/Region
South Africa

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Gijima

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