Texas A&M University-San Antonio (A&M-SA) relies on technology to deliver a well-rounded learning experience to its students. However, when A&M-SA’s technology infrastructure reached the end of its lifecycle, the university was challenged with putting in place new capabilities to deliver top-quality IT services to the university, an official from the university explained.
“We had many single points of failure [and] managing our legacy systems could be inefficient and required too many manual steps,” said William Griffenberg, the chief information officer at A&M-SA. “I want to ensure that the university runs state-of-the-art technology to enable the best possible learning and instruction. All our computers, network, servers, and technology infrastructure have to help the students.”
Dell Technologies, Griffenberg said, provided the university with an opportunity to redesign systems and data centers to enable higher quality IT services with better performance and uncompromised system availability.
Under this partnership, Dell Technologies helped A&M-SA streamline the effort and ensure the most advantageous use of automation and other solution capabilities. Specifically, Dell Technologies provided A&M-SA with three different solutions.
First, at each data-center location, five Dell EMC VxRail P570F appliances were deployed in a stretched cluster enabling a hyper-converged infrastructure, which combines server and storage technology in one device. The solution also provides the scalability that allows the university IT team to plan future workloads and services.
Second, the institution adopted three Dell EMC Data Domain 6300 data protection storage arrays, which can facilitate backup data replication and disaster recovery.
And finally, A&M-SA deployed two three-node clusters of Dell EMC Isilon scale-out, network-attached storage, enabling an archive with a file system and metadata replication and file snapshots.
“The technology has proven to be extremely efficient. We have already doubled our virtual environment from 107 to 243 virtual machines in a year,” Griffenberg explained. “We can scale to take on large projects and will be able to confidently accommodate future growth with VxRail.”
Current and prospective students are also in line to experience the wider impact of A&M-SA’s IT transformation. The university’s goal is to provide its students with an outstanding learning experience, Griffenberg explained, and with Dell Technologies as a vital contributor, A&M-SA will be able to move ahead with several efforts that “will take the university’s systems to a higher level yet in supporting learning and teaching.”
They include a virtual desktop initiative (VDI) and an e-sports program. In the past, the university could not have embarked on VDI and e-sports, but with solutions provided by Dell Technologies, all of that is possible, Griffenberg explained.
“We can retain and attract talented students because we rearchitected our infrastructure on Dell Technologies. Our president and cabinet have expressed their confidence in our direction and support it wholeheartedly,” Griffenberg said.