École Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) improves access to data while removing the barriers to innovation by modernising its IT with Dell EMC VxRail.
EHL wanted to modernise its ageing IT infrastructure built on a traditional model of server, storage and networking tiers. The organisation sought to retain its reputation as a centre of excellence for hospitality management and a place where innovation flourishes by transforming its IT.
To retain its standing, EHL wanted to modernise its ageing HPEbased infrastructure. Traditionally, EHL refreshed its servers, storage and networking switches like-for-like, but this strategy needed to change. The existing three-tiered infrastructure— where data was often siloed—didn’t support EHL’s goal for increased speed of innovation and IT agility. Adding a new server, for example, could take a week—too long to support the needs of the organisation.
EHL issued a request for proposal to leading IT solution vendors. All except one of the vendors, including the incumbent HPE, put forward a solution based on a similar tiered infrastructure. Only Bechtle, working with its partner Dell EMC, put forward a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) based on Dell EMC VxRail. Bechtle worked closely with EHL stakeholders, demonstrating the performance and manageability of VxRail. It was this, as well as the working relationship that evolved between EHL, Bechtle and Dell EMC, that convinced EHL stakeholders to replace the HPE infrastructure with the HCI solution.
What followed were a series of projects that saw EHL deploy 10 VxRail appliances across its two data centres in Gland and in Lausanne. This was followed by the implementation of the latest-generation of Dell EMC PowerEdge servers for data backup and recovery, plus Data Domain 2500 for long-term data protection. Finally, EHL deployed two clusters of three Dell EMC Isilon high-volume storage nodes to back up and archive unstructured data. The IT team at EHL is currently working with Bechtle on extending the VxRail platform to support EHL’s new Passugg campus close to Chur, in Switzerland, and another campus in Singapore.
EHL now plans to build on VxRail—using it as a springboard for innovation. The big advantage of VxRail is that the IT team can rapidly connect servers to non-siloed data storage for new applications. It means EHL will be able to launch an application for lecture recording and hosting much faster than planned. Furthermore, extending the VDI to thousands more students at the Passugg and Singapore campuses won’t take many months to execute. That’s because EHL doesn’t have to go through long procurement cycles for additional servers and storage—they can simply scale as needed.
EHL is using VxRail to maintain its reputation for innovation and excellence—recently launching an AI-based virtual assistance application to support student services. Called Amelia, the multi-language virtual assistant helps those new to the EHL campuses to get around. The previous infrastructure at EHL didn’t offer the level of performance required for this kind of application.
EHL has already identified real management savings from the migration to VxRail. Today, the IT team manages the entire infrastructure through a single console.Servers, storage and networking for development environments and applications are allocated simply through the console interface. Furthermore, it’s much easier for the team to calculate IT costs now that the entire stack is built with VxRail.