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Lingnan University, as a leading liberal arts university in Asia, cares much of student learning and has proactively adopted different approaches to enhance student learning. Responding to the digital world, Lingnan University has put serious efforts to create a smart campus for making our faculty members and students creatively engaged in making use of the digital technology for learning and research. It operates a dedicated Information Technology Services Center (ITSC) which is responsible for supporting the institution’s teaching, learning and research activities through university-wide computing, networking, application development, audio-visual, and information systems, as well as building a secure campus. With a vision of becoming a forward-looking center of excellence, ITSC is committed to leveraging cutting-edge technologies to advance the strategic priorities of the university. In this process, ITSC faces the huge challenge of handling the legacy systems that were still powering a number of applications that may lower down the pace of development.
As is the case for any education institution, Information Technology (IT) infrastructure is the backbone of the Lingnan University’s services. From hosting important applications to making possible ground-breaking research, it underpins the diverse day-to-day services its staff and students rely on and plays a fundamental role in ensuring its other departments can do their jobs. However, years ago, its IT infrastructure was found ageing, and some of it was out of warranty.
Indeed, mounting costs and an ever-growing number of applications, including an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, exposed an urgent need to consolidate platform resources. So, to help the university become the technology-driven institution it aimed to be, ITSC began its search for a reliable system to unify and simplify IT infrastructure management. Most importantly, it needed a solution that could keep up with the high performance, large capacity, and robust Disaster Recovery (DR) capabilities of its primary data center.
Recognizing the Lingnan University’s need for an easy-to-manage, scalable system, Huawei proposed its FusionCube Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) Solution. This all-in-one, full-stack solution consolidates compute, storage, and network resources and provides unified management of hardware and software, meaning that, instead of having to upgrade these elements separately, the university could do so using a single system. Together with its intelligent, one-click Operations and Maintenance (O&M), FusionCube also greatly simplifies management for Lingnan University’s ITSC team.
For any university, maintaining round-the-clock data availability is a key priority. Data such as website files, payroll, and tuition information must remain constantly accessible to ensure business continuity. This was a deciding factor for the university when it came to choosing Huawei FusionCube. The solution provides three-copy data protection, an active-active function for VMware vSphere, and data synchronization between primary and secondary data centers. It also uses asynchronous replication to slash the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) to less than 5 minutes. Put simply, it prevents data loss and service disruption, meaning staff and students can enjoy always-on services.
In addition, Lingnan University made clear that it needed a budget-friendly solution that would not limit its expansion plans. Huawei FusionCube not only met the university's needs for a lower initial investment, but also now runs as a more cost-effective solution over the long-term. The solution's high disk utilization rate maximizes storage space and reduces the equipment footprint by up to 70%, compared to a traditional server and storage solution. In addition, thanks to the use of Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) storage space, the solution delivers better performance and lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
FusionCube takes advantage of Non-Volatile Memory express (NVMe) Solid State Drives (SSDs) to deliver the high-performance storage that the institution sorely needed, while supporting the latest Virtual Machine (VM) version. With drastically increased memory now available, ITSC's performance, reliability, and scalability needs have all clearly been met.
Since deploying Huawei FusionCube, Lingnan University has noticed significant improvement in its IT performance. No longer weighed down by the inefficiencies of siloed infrastructure and aging hardware, ITSC can deliver the speed and agility that the rest of the university requires.
With Huawei FusionCube backing it up, LU's ITSC is now the forward-looking center it aspires to be, helping the university truly achieve excellence.