Alderley Edge School for Girls

Virtue Technologies install a virtualised solution to give the school a more flexible and reliable infrastructure

Alderley Edge School for Girls is a leading independent day school for girls aged 2 to 18. Upon Neal Plews becoming the IT Development Manager at Alderley Edge School for Girls, in early 2014, it was clear to him that one of the most important tasks was the overhaul of the core server infrastructure. The school’s network at the time was a mix of server 2003/2008 OS’s sitting on seven physical servers some of which were six or seven years old. These servers supported everything you would expect at a mid-sized private school such as: Active Directory, DNS/DHCP, Email (MS Exchange 2007), File Storage for 500 students and 100 staff, their self-hosted MIS system, bespoke financial software and the school’s Intranet (Sharepoint).

Why the school chose Virtue Technologies

The school wanted to move to a virtualised solution to give them a more flexible, reliable infrastructure all based on the server 2012r2 OS and with the capacity to keep up with the schools needs over a minimum of five years. With the support of the schools Bursar they were able to move towards this. The school spent over eight months preparing for this massive upgrade which involved speaking to over a dozen IT Consultancy companies, which they whittled down to a final five who submitted proposals. Neal says “Virtue Technologies highly impressed myself and the senior management team here in all dealings with us. Their engineers spotted some key hurdles we would have to overcome (that none of the other companies had) and were also able to make suggestions on how we could cut some costs by reusing or upgrading some of the equipment we already had. The technical proposal I received was exceptionally thorough and very detail orientated, it certainly didn’t feel like a ‘cut and paste’ proposal, rather it was tailored to our specific situation and needs. It was this that won us over to using Virtue for the project.”

Neal also said that the Virtue Engineer, Paul Jones, who carried out the upgrade was a “pleasure to work with, and Paul recognised the IT skills here on site and worked along-side myself and my team to perform the upgrade, ensuring I was involved every step of the way”. Whilst Neal had prepared the staff and management for the possibility of long downtimes during the upgrade project, Paul was able to keep these to a bare minimum and Neal said it was remarkable how little impact there was to the school’s user base.

The Outcome

Post install, Virtue Technologies provided spot training to Neal and his team on some of the newer systems, leaving the school in a perfect state to go forward. Alderley Edge School for Girls have been running the new virtualised system (now with 18 virtual servers and 2 linx appliances) for six months and have not experienced a single issue. The school now has a modern, high performance network capable of providing a strong backbone for the 1-2-1 tablet scheme that they are beginning in 2016.

To summarise Neal said “I can highly recommend Virtue, everyone I have dealt with at the company has been experienced, knowledgeable and courteous. I felt like they really listened to the needs of my school and prepared and delivered a bespoke solution that I, and my senior management team, are extremely happy with.”

The Challenge

The school wanted to move to a virtualised solution to give them a more flexible. Reliable infrastructure all based on the server 2012r2 OS and with the capacity to keep up with the schools needs over a minimum of five years.

The Solution

In the preparation stage of this massive upgrade, Virtue Technologies’ engineers spotted some key hurdles the school would have to overcome and were able to make suggestions on how the school could cut some costs by reusing or upgrading some of the equipment they already had.

The Benefits

The school now has a modern, high performance network capable of providing a strong backbone for the 1-2-1 tablet scheme that they are beginning in 2016.


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