Shrewsbury School – High Availability Clustering

Shrewsbury School is committed to strong academic standards and believe in a vision of holistic education, as demonstrated through an incredible range of different activities and societies. They are passionate about boarding not just for convenience, but because it provides the best opportunity for young men and women to develop real confidence and belief in themselves. Having the best facilities in terms of grounds, activities and IT systems are important to their customer base and key in attracting new pupils each year. Shrewsbury School approached Bechtle with a requirement for a reliable and scalable, server and storage solution with comprehensive disaster recovery capabilities. This would accommodate the rapidly rising data volumes and extended school operating hours. Bechtle were given a strict budget of £150,000 and a deadline for everything to be in place by the end of July (delivery and installation required between the 8th July – 19th July).

Project details.

  • Server & Storage
  • Virtualisation
  • Education / Research
  • HPE, VMWare, Veeam
  • 250–1,500 employees

Bechtle’s Solution

Bechtle’s consultants spent time in the school engaging with key members of staff to assess the current limitations and understand the changes that have come about due to developments in the modern schooling environment. This enabled Bechtle to establish the features required to take the school into the next decade.


The schools IT staff were introduced to the modern technologies that would form the basis of their new infrastructure by way of web based demonstrations, this not only highlighted the key benefits they would receive but also allowed them to propose areas where they could gain further enhancements. After these initial meetings, Bechtle worked with the schools incumbent IT partner, Fujitsu, as well as HP to submit proposals.


HP’s winning proposal included the award winning StoreVirtual storage system combined with DL360p Gen8 Rack mount servers, VMware virtualisation platform and Veeam. In order to take advantage of these new and exciting technologies the school required significant upgrades to their core network otherwise the investment would not provide the resiliency they required as a 24 hour learning environment.


The school asked Bechtle to partner with Allied Telesis to design a reliable Local Area Network between two separate areas of the campus. The combination of Hi Tech systems along with extreme levels of reliability and scalability, and a single support contract, was a perfect fit for the school.


Due to the limited maintenance window, Bechtle worked with Shrewsbury School’s IT team as well as Allied Telesis to ensure the system migrations had minimal impact to the school. This was largely done by preparing and testing the environment before the maintenance window opened.


The Benefits

This change provided the learning environment with the ability to grow and evolve to meet the demanding challenges of the future. This was achieved by delivering a cloud enable environment with massive scalability, 99.99% reliability, wider maintenance windows and a business continuity solution that will lower the overall running cost.


Bechtle have many years of experience in working with schools facing such challenges in their IT environment. Bechtle’s experience and approach to the project helped to broaden the customers knowledge and allow them to find greater value in the solution beyond their initial requirements.

Marcus Matthews, IT Network Manager, Shrewsbury School
Shrewsbury School.
“To say the process was stressful would be an understatement but that was nothing to do with Bechtle. They were my saving grace and without them the project would have failed.
I’m very happy with what was delivered. It was exactly what we needed. The Store Virtual SANs work really well.
10/10. I can’t say anymore than that”

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