The London-based university has 20,000 students from over 150 countries spread across six schools: Cass Business School, School of Arts & Social Sciences, School of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences, School of Health Science, School of Informatics and The City Law School. It was also ranked in the top 5% of world universities in 2012 by Times Higher Education.
After a small fire in 2001, which damaged equipment belonging to the Computing Department, City University London recognised the need to truly secure their IT environment. At this point the university started looking at what the wider hosting community could provide.
As a result of the fire, the university moved the data centre to a well-known hosting provider. Over the years the designated rack space grew from 20 to 28 racks, doubling the floor space and significantly increasing the annual cost.
Andrew Lack, Infrastructure Service Manager at City University London, states: “The annual cost with our previous hosting provider increased in parallel with the growth of the university. We looked into what the University of London Computer Centre (ULCC) could provide and found that it could meet the needs of the university at a much lower cost.”
ULCC were already providing City University London with a disaster recovery service, therefore Lack was aware of the competitive pricing which was on offer. While ULCC’s pricing is a major benefit, Lack was also increasingly interested in the development of ULCC’s second data centre in Maidstone. As a result City University London transferred its data centre hosting to ULCC and moved its disaster recovery service back in-house.
Lack says: “City University were able to save approximately £250,000 per annum by switching to ULCC due to the affordable hosting costs and new technological development which meant going from 28 to just 20 racks.”
Another benefit of working with ULCC is the common understanding between provider and institution of how the education sector operates. Both parties follow the academic calendar meaning work is rarely completed during peak term times where any mistake could lead to disruptions for stakeholders.
City University London were also able to benefit from the High Performance Computing (HPC) service at the new site. Lack states: “City needed a location for an HPC rack and our own efforts to find a location in London proved unaffordable. ULCC’s second data centre site offers us an excellent facility with good transport connections and competitive pricing.”
City University London found the transition from the previous provider to ULCC to be incredibly straightforward and hassle-free.
After almost 10 years of working with ULCC, Lack is still very satisfied with the service ULCC provides. The professional yet personal touch is something which has led to a working relationship which is very collaborative and mutually beneficial.