Swinburne is an Australian world-ranked university focusing on innovation, industry engagement, and social inclusion. However, its complex, multi-vendor IT environment was difficult to scale and lacked the agility needed to support changing student requirements. The university needed a new IT environment that could enable the organization to move to hybrid cloud and provide new digital services to students. The Nutanix solution, built on hyperconverged infrastructure technology, provides a complete cloud environment that meets all of the university’s key requirements. Scalable and simple to manage, the solution enables Swinburne to automate certain processes to simplify students’ lives, and free its IT team to contribute to the University at a higher level. It lets the University move towards a modern hybrid cloud model that will enable it to use public cloud services within the control of its on-premises environment and make applications flexible between cloud environments to suit on-peak and off-peak times.
- Enabled Swinburne to develop automated platforms for student engineering projects
- Helped the University identify processes which could be automated
- Increased security, performance and vendor consolidation
- Supports Citrix VDI environment
Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS Platform
Nutanix has become part of our self-service suite, within which students can browse and pick development stacks they need for their projects and deploy them with one click, similar to an app store.Simon Naughton, Director, Infrastructure and Operations, Information Technology, Swinburne University of Technology
Swinburne University of Technology had a number of different IT environments and technology stacks in place running various applications and digital services. The environments weren’t built to scale to accommodate growing numbers of users, and usage varied dramatically, especially in the lead up to exams and assignment deadlines.
The University needed a solution that enabled quick provision of services, did not require a large up- front investment, and could be added to incrementally in a more predictable model. Public cloud as a whole wasn’t an option, due to a number of factors including cost and data sovereignty, but ideally it wanted a solution that could support public cloud services and the ‘quick burst’ nature of student activity within the University.
Swinburne also wanted an environment that would enable a better digital experience for students through more self-service functions to facilitate their work and in turn free up the IT team to develop digital services, rather than be stuck creating infrastructure which could be automated.
Swinburne’s new Nutanix environment is delivering a faster, more secure and scalable IT environment that supports the University’s digital transformation. It has freed up the IT team to move further up the stack and provided a more predictable spending model to enable the provision of resources more effectively. But the real benefits are being felt by the students.
“Nutanix has become part of our self-service suite, within which students can browse and pick development stacks they need for their projects and deploy them with one click, similar to an app store,” said Naughton.
Before, students completing their important final-year mobile application projects had to work with the IT department to manually create the infrastructure the projects would run on. Automating this process means students’ time goes to the projects at hand, and also gives the IT department more time to work on more important services for the University.
“Nutanix is helping us assess where our time is being spent, which workloads need greater automation to free up resources, and also ones that may require more of a human element,” added Naughton.
The University is now creating more self-service experiences for students and staff. For example, researchers can provision additional storage automatically, with a few clicks. The solution has also led to better security, increased performance, and IT vendor consolidation for the University. Nutanix also supports its Citrix virtual desktop (VDI) environment, an important asset to students to ensure they can work and study remotely.
Swinburne is one of the first customers in Australia to deploy Nutanix Calm, a management system that simplifies and automates the process of moving apps between cloud environments. As it continues to extend and develop its cloud infrastructure, Swinburne is seeing first-hand the benefits of a truly hybrid cloud model, which is enabling them to adapt applications between public cloud and on-premises environments.
“Nutanix is starting to address the ‘bursty’ nature in which students use our services,” said Naughton. “Public cloud makes sense—and will continue to be used—to satisfy the majority of these requirements, but during off-peak times this becomes costly and inefficient. Nutanix’s ground-breaking ability to make apps between different cloud environments at the click of a button changes the game for us, and we’re only just getting to grips on the positive impact it will have.”