Oct 24 2022

School Finds Simplicity and Security in Move to Hyperconverged Infrastructure

One school shares how HCI has been easier to manage and makes files easier to secure, even with a small IT team.

With more educational technology in classrooms and in the hands of students, schools are privy to more data than ever. This data can provide valuable insights for educators and district leaders if it’s stored and analyzed appropriately. However, with more data comes the need for more digital storage. Additionally, with the popularity of screen recordings, recorded lectures and other videos, larger files are vying for this storage space.

At The Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, Director of IT Services Kevin Warenda found he needed a storage solution beyond his on-premises data center. “We are generating all kinds of data: academic data, administrative data, CCTV surveillance data. We have an observatory on campus that generates high volumes of data,” he says.

For a solution, Warenda looked to hyperconverged infrastructure, which allows the district to store its data in the cloud.

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“We really needed a place to properly secure backups because we couldn’t afford to build infrastructure for that storage on-premises,” he says. His district opted for HCI through a trio of partners: NutanixWasabi and HYCU. “We appreciated the performance we were getting, and the cost was predictable, which is really the most important thing for us.”

In addition to the predictable cost model, Hotchkiss staff members benefit from the simple transition to HCI and its management, as well as the advanced security this cloud-based model provides.

HCI Makes Management Easy for Small IT Teams

Transitioning to HCI, and subsequently managing it, has been simple, Warenda says, even with a small IT team.

“Hyperconverged, with its simplified infrastructure, is easier to manage. It requires fewer people and less resources to manage,” he says. “When you have to upgrade a lot of complex things in the background, from an end user’s or system administrator’s perspective, you click some buttons and that takes care of upgrading the software.”

kevin warenda
Hyperconverged, with its simplified infrastructure, is easier to manage. It requires fewer people and less resources to manage.”

Kevin Warenda Director of IT Services, The Hotchkiss School

At Hotchkiss, Nutanix gives the IT team a single-pane-of-glass view of its infrastructure, while HYCU backs up data to the school’s Wasabi cloud. Because the three companies are partners, “the technology integrated very easily,” Warenda says. “There was nothing to learn; it was just a matter of connecting them.”

He notes that there was no complex equipment to set up because the solution is hosted in the cloud. As such, there’s less on-premises equipment for his team to manage.

HCI Encrypts Backups of the School’s Files Seamlessly

HCI also gives Warenda more peace of mind when it comes to security. “There’s really no single point of failure,” he explains.

READ MORE: Learn how backups can help protect schools against ransomware.

Warenda also trusts that the Nutanix, HYCU and Wasabi technologies are working together smoothly as a result of the companies’ partnership.

“They’re all part of an integrated solution. So, we can — as one workflow — set up our software to take the appropriate backups of our data, encrypt that, store it to a local place where we back it up and simultaneously copy those encrypted files off to Wasabi,” he says. “That security is built in from the start.”

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