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Hybrid storage for the University of Coventry

Posted on 17 September 2012 by Pierre Picard

New hybrid managed storage solution from Bull helps Coventry University grow IT Services

Innovative storage system to deliver enhanced capacity, greater scalability and more flexibility


Working alongside systems provider and partner, EMC, Bull Information Systems has beaten off strong competition to win a major new contract to deliver a hybrid managed storage solution to Coventry University. Bull will be responsible for consultancy, design, implementation and on-going management of the system. The new approach will offer greater flexibility and a significant increase in capacity over the University’s existing solution, which is no longer scalable enough to support its strategic targets or need to meet stringent operational compliance and governance requirements.

The increased storage capacity offered by the new Bull system will enable the University to repackage its service offerings and drive revenue growth. Bull will give the University the opportunity to proactively sell capacity and IT services to a broad range of organisations in the local area from SMEs to councils, hospitals and schools.


“We were attracted by Bull’s proposal to split the storage capacity and manage it for us across two sites: our campus in Coventry and Bull’s Northern Operations Centre (NOC) in Barnsley”, said Stephen Booth, Head of Central Computing Services at Coventry University. “We saw it as the best option in terms of efficiently managing risk. In addition, we were impressed that Bull and EMC share a mature vision surrounding the migration path to the cloud and one that fits with our own plans for a gradual step-by-step move to a cloud-based environment.”

The new EMC storage solution will also provide Coventry University with better reporting capabilities and improved service management through the EMC® Unisphere™ storage management solution. Additional storage management benefits will be provided by EMC FAST VP which employs de-duplication to keep the storage footprint under control.


“We are offering further flexibility to Coventry University through our innovative financing model,” says Andrew Carr, sales and marketing director, Bull UK & Ireland. “Instead of paying up-front, the University will pay on a monthly basis only for the storage capacity it uses. This enables it to quickly increase storage capacity at busy times of the year, such as during the summer ‘clearing’ process and rapidly scale it down during quieter periods.”

Bull is currently in the process of training Coventry University’s IT staff ahead of the implementation.  It is running a cloud readiness programme, which will involve ‘cloud certifying’ one of the university’s technical staff: effectively giving the chosen candidate the skills and expertise required to seamlessly manage the transition.

Bull is also planning to arrange a two-day visit for the university’s team to EMC’s offices in Cork, Ireland to find out more about what the EMC infrastructure can offer them and analyse proofs of concept of the key applications being used in the new storage environment.


About Coventry University
Coventry University is a modern, forward-looking university whose roots can be traced back to 1843 to the Coventry College of Design. With a proud tradition as a provider of high quality education and a focus on multidisciplinary applied research, today the University has established an academic presence regionally, nationally and across the world.

Through its links with leading-edge businesses and organizations in a variety of industries, Coventry University’s 24,000+ students enjoy access to placement opportunities, which ensure that their employability prospects are enhanced by the time they graduate. The city centre campus itself is continually developing and evolving, and a recent £100 million-plus investment in a new student centre and Engineering and Computing building is playing a key role in modernising the entire learning experience.

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