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Hertford Regional College Cuts Cost and Carbon Using Cisco Technology


Operating costs of IT reduced by 60% through virtualisation

LONDON - Hertford Regional College (HRC) has utilised Cisco technology to build a compact, energy-efficient IT infrastructure that has transformed the way both students and teachers access and share information.

The new infrastructure, which has significantly improved performance, reduced costs and supports innovative applications such as unified communications, gives HRC the fastest in-college network of any college in Europe.

Key benefits of the solution include improved access to critical online teaching resources, greater interaction between students and staff and reduction of IT estate operating costs by 60 percent through virtualisation. By investing in a scalable network architecture, HRC also sees potential to generate additional income for the College by providing technology cloud services to other educational institutions.
Key facts/ highlights

* Hertford Regional College is one of the largest higher and further education colleges in Hertfordshire. Associated with the University of Hertfordshire, the College has more than 12,000 students and 900 staff across two campuses and two vocational centres
* The College recently completed a £65 million redevelopment project to transform itself into a state-of-the-art learning institution. In designing new buildings for its campuses in Ware and Broxbourne, the IT Services team specified a world-class technology infrastructure that would enhance learning and give the College a competitive edge
* HRC replaced the College’s outdated server and storage equipment with virtualised, energy-saving blade servers to consolidate physical infrastructure and reduce operating costs. Supporting this would be a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) with innovative mobility features spanning both campuses
* Upgrading its technology infrastructure began with building the network backbone. Cisco 6513 carrier-class routers support 40 gigabit per second over fibre optic cabling, while Cisco 3750 Series Routers run 10 gigabit per second over fibre to classrooms and studios
* Once building construction was completed, the College deployed Cisco foundation networking technologies to create a Wide Area Network between the Ware and Broxbourne campuses over fibre and Local Area Networks within each location. The College then implemented a Cisco Unified CommunicationsTM System and support for wireless connectivity across both sites
* An innovative fixed mobile conversion system that combines Cisco IP communications and wireless LAN technology is tied to staff mobile phones using GSM gateway hardware and software. Wireless IP communications run on Power over Ethernet switches coupled with unified messaging. The network also provides wireless data coverage in areas of the College where there are no fixed connections. Cisco Office Extend is used to provide staff with remote access to the network from home
* In addition to the educational benefits, the Cisco network helps the College manage campus security by carrying video footage from CCTV cameras located around the site. It also uses the network to control door access. Cisco’s real-time network monitoring capability allows the IT team to check who is accessing the wireless network at any time and any place on the campus
* The Cisco network infrastructure and Cisco Unified Communications system at Hertford Regional College was provided by BTiNet, a Cisco Gold Certified Partner. Convergis, a Cisco Advanced Wireless LAN specialised partner, provided integration and technical support for the fixed mobile conversion

Key quotes

* “With the network as the platform for Unified Communications, organisations can move with greater speed and agility by connecting stakeholders in real time, across multiple work spaces,” says Neil Crockett, managing director, Public Sector, Cisco UK & Ireland. “Hertford Regional College is a great example of an organisation that is taking advantage of all the benefits that Cisco Unified Communications can offer through a consolidated infrastructure, reduced operating costs and improved internal and external communications.”

* “Cisco’s networking technology is the cornerstone of our IT infrastructure. Virtualising our servers saves us around £320,000 a year in equipment and electricity costs, and reduces the college’s carbon footprint by 860 tonnes per year,” says Dr. Daniel Hidlebaugh, network services manager, Hertford Regional College. “But it all relies on a network that can deliver exceptional performance every time without fail and Cisco hasn’t let us down yet.”

About Cisco Unified Communications

* Cisco Unified Communications delivers new collaboration experiences and benefits across global and organisational boundaries, including:
o Comprehensive business-to-business communications, offering transparent collaboration with peer-to-peer Intercompany Media Engine technology
o A broad choice of interoperable communications endpoints, including iPhone, Nokia, and BlackBerry mobile devices
o Deployment flexibility, including on-premises, in the cloud, hosted, managed, or in phases
o Integrated user and customer experiences, to enhance collaboration with two-way video on multiple end points, and more

About Cisco

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