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Ipswich invests in APC UPS for critical power to keep school up and running

Highly reliable, secure and scalable data centre technology

Company

Ipswich Grammar School

Sector

Education

Location

Queensland, Australia

 

Icon Eye

project type

IT and Data Centre Infrastructure Products and Solutions

Customer Benefits

Highly reliable, secure and scalable

100% Uptime

Overall data centre efficiency

Background

Ipswich Grammar School is a prestigious prep to senior school located in South-East Queensland. With approximately 1,200 students and staff, the school is renowned for it its unique facilities, academic achievement, self-discipline and character.

With both on and off campus IT facilities and 24 hour a day boarders, the school’s IT infrastructure is one of the most sophisticated, yet challenging in the education landscape.

The nature of a day and boarding school means that data centre and network uptime is critical and any downtime occurred can result in losses in teaching and learning capacity. Not to mention the ability for boarding students to communicate in and outside of the school.

With a recent influx in students taking advantage of the IT network and substantial growth in the requirements of the IT infrastructure including WIFI, IP phones, audio visual, and staff and student own mobile devices, the Ipswich Grammar School IT department implemented a new on site data centre in order to keep up with demand.

However, once this on site data centre was established, it became clear that it was vital to keep it up and running 24 hours a day – especially when the school had already suffered some damaging outages as a result of poor back up power.

Challenge

The primary concern for the schools IT department was ensuring 100 per cent uptime for their new data centre. If there were any outages, they needed to be able to rely on a sophisticated back up power solution to keep it running.

“As we were growing, we found that we were having a few issues with our new data centre’s backup server and we were suffering increasing instances of downtime and outages as a result,” said Dave Peace, Information Services Network Supervisor, Ipswich Grammar School.

“We have a high performance network that is responsible for all WIFI, IP Phones, staff and student personal mobile devices and general network infrastructure. When you suffer downtime in a school environment like ours it not only has a critical impact on the teaching and learning, as teachers and students don’t have access to the technologies that they need, but the boarders also have no way to communicate outside of the school. That’s a real concern over weekends and times of lower supervision.”

With this in mind, Ipswich Grammar School reached out to the market and undertook research to find the best solution and partner for the job in order to ensure they had a backup power solution that would be able to maintain power in the data centre at all times.
Ipswich Grammar School was looking for a company which understood the complexities of the IT environment they were operating and could pose a solution that would stop or minimise the impact downtime in the data centre could have on the students and staff alike.

They also needed a provider who was flexible enough to grow with them as the IT requirements would likely continue to expand as the school did.

Solution

Having tried a few providers whose products didn’t suit the flexibility or complexity needed, Ipswich Grammar School worked with EtherWorks, an APC by Schneider Electric partner to scope, supply and deliver power protection products to keep the data centre up and running.

When we were first introduced to the UPS from APC by Schneider Electric we thought we must have been dreaming. The UPS product from Schneider had double the capacity of our old UPS product and was the same price. It was the ideal situation.

Beyond the product that they offered, Ipswich Grammar School also felt that EtherWorks and Schneider Electric had clearly understood and responded to their complex IT environment and requirements.

“We chose EtherWorks as our partner because they really understood what we needed from a power supply and how critical uptime is for our school by providing APC by Schneider Electric UPS products.”

We can’t suffer outages from 3:00pm to 8:00am like other schools and our power has to run 24 hours a day. The Schneider team and solution really responded to that.”

Results

Ipswich Grammar School has now been using the APC by Schneider Electric UPS product for more than six years.

“The UPS from Schneider Electric has really offered peace of mind for our team and for the school. Amongst the IT team we like to call it our safety net because we know we can leave the school at the end of the day and feel 100 per cent certain that the power will run without any issues until we are back in the next morning,” said Dave.

Since implementing the Schneider Electric UPS product, Ipswich Grammar School have only suffered one instance of downtime in the data centre.

“Our main teaching block had outages for around half a day and the UPS kept everything going without a glitch. The teachers had no idea we had even had a problem because the teaching and learning was able to continue as normal throughout the day due to the UPS back up.”

Since implementing the UPS from Schneider Electric six years ago, Ipswich Grammar School has now invested in a whole range of Schneider Electric data centre and IT product solutions.

“Once we started using the UPS product we realised how much better it was in terms of maintaining uptime, decreasing downtime and just overall efficiency. We swapped our whole suite of IT and data centre infrastructure products over to Schneider Electric solutions after we saw what they were really capable of,” said Dave.

“We would recommend all other schools approach Schneider Electric for their IT solutions,” said Dave.

“The UPS is better value for money, has a smaller footprint, runs longer than any other power unit and has greater capacity. Why would you use anything else?”

 

 
 
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