Beachhead Group brings VMware HCI to Central Coast Adventist School

Beachhead Group brings VMware HCI to Central Coast Adventist School

HCI tech reduces school's hardware and brings Horizon on to one platform

Credit: Central Coast Adventist School

Sydney-based Beachhead Group has wrapped up a VMware hyper converged infrastructure (HCI) vSAN project with NSW-based Central Coast Adventist School. 

Beachhead responded to the school’s call to market with a VMware hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) through vSAN and migrated their existing VMware Horizon solution onto the same platform. 

Initially, the school was running legacy hardware across three production hosts, and one backup host, supporting about 25 virtual servers and 100 Horizon desktop virtual machines.

The migration of Horizon onto vSAN meant that users at the school can now access virtual desktops via a web browser and expand their ‘bring your own device’ capabilities. 

“They saw their physical and operational environments reduced using vSAN, and they didn’t have to manage these siloed environments,” Beachhead Group principal consultant, Sean Boyd, said. “It was a great outcome for the customer with huge operational and capital savings.”

“We heard about HCI, but hadn’t really dipped our toes into the water, and this customer gave us the opportunity to go through that process.”

Prior to the rollout, Beachhead carried out performance testing, which saw the project take one week to deploy including two days for the hardware installation and four days to migrate data across. 

For the school, the project saw a 40 per cent saving on capital hardware upgrades through consolidating servers and storage onto a single platform. 

Four years had passed since the school last conducted a refresh, and in that time, staff and student numbers grew, along with their digital appetite. At any particular time, the school caters for about 1150 on-site users. 

Previously the school was facing poor data transfer rates coupled with aging hardware and demand for a reliable system.

As a result of sticking with VMware, the school’s IT team could also tap into their existing VMware skills from previously managing Horizon. 

“The planning and preparation from Beachhead Group prior to the deployment meant that a project that would ordinarily take four-to-six weeks, came to be realised in just one. The result of this was reduced disruption to the school and minimal impact to teaching, which is a key priority for us,” Central Coast Adventist School ICT manager, Grant Lovell, said.

“We’ve experienced excellent reliability and support, and remain well positioned to scale in the event of demands on our system growing any further.”

As for Beachhead, the project caught VMware’s attention. Boyd said even though it wasn’t a VMware enterprise partner, it was part of their professional network was introduced into the vSAN Warrior program.

“We were still early into our VMware relationship, and we were able to leverage a program from VMware that gave the school quite aggressive pricing around vSAN,” he said.

“That was our ingest point into the bigger VMware program and we have since reaped the benefits of that with regular KPIs, marketing and training.

“We’ve been able to leverage the engine collaboratively between what Beachhead can do and what VMware can offer.”

VMware A/NZ head of channels, Neels Du Plooy, added the vSAN Warrior program was an Australian initiative that has now gone global, initially driven by VMware A/NZ vSAN channel and alliances lead, Winston Wong.

“It looks at how we can hone down on some unique partners with a unique value proposition in the market, and combining that with VMware technology leadership,” Du Plooy said. “It’s brings us together to really go in and help invest in these partners, work with them, co-sell in the market and drive some awesome customer wins.

“It’s really important how we invest in the partnerships of tomorrow, and bring these types of partnerships into new levels.”

Boyd said the key part for him was VMware’s willingness to invest in Beachhead.

“As a partner, we’re dealing with two types of customers - the end user and the supplier. We’ve got to make sure we’ve got the right skills, solution, investment and price, and having similar skin in the game,” he said. “With the investment from VMware, it gives me a lot of confidence and willingness to go deeper with VMware.”

“HCI is not the destination, it’s just the start of what the customer wants to achieve. It’s the first step into a much bigger digital play.”

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