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Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster upgrades its IT infrastructure with Scale Computing’s hyperconverged cluster

Key Challenges

  • Looking to upgrade existing IT environment
  • Technology team has limited resources
  • Needed to provide server access across the Diocese

Scale Computing Solution

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster selected Scale Computing’s HC3 cluster

Business Benefits

  • Reduced time management
  • Ease of use
  • High performance
  • Enhanced business continuity
  • Ability to provide remote access
  • Flexibility to scale as and when needed
  • No licencing fees
  • Increased IT life from three years to six

Introduction

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster is one of the smallest dioceses in England and Wales in geographical area, but the largest in terms of Catholic population and priests.

The diocesan boundaries include the London boroughs north of the Thames, between the River Lea to the east, the Borough of Hillingdon to the east, and including the county of Hertfordshire to the north.

With over 200 parishes and 200 schools, hundreds of clergy members and numerous societies and departments, the Diocese runs as a company and has many of the same requirements as a business.

Working with Paralogic to solve IT challenges

Many of the departments and parishes have similar IT needs to business branch offices and the Diocese turned to its long-term ICT partner Paralogic, to help find a solution that could support day to day operations. The Diocese wanted to take advantage of the latest technology that would enable the parishes and multiple departments to engage with each other and embrace new applications. Rod de Silva, ICT Manager for the Diocese of Westminster said, “We’ve worked with Paralogic as our main ICT partner for a number of years. The close working relationship we enjoy means the team understand how we try to organise our time. We consulted them on the need for upgrades and they came back to us with a proposal that was right for us.”

Previously, the Diocese had four physical servers hosting virtual machines and a local SAN device. “We needed to replace our IT system as it was reaching its end of life and we saw this as an opportunity to upgrade. Like many organisations, the technology team has finite resources. We try and organise our time so that 50 per cent is spent on support issues and 50 per cent on special projects and strategic matters. It was important for us to have a server infrastructure that was resilient and as easy to use as possible,” noted de Silva.

Adam Plant, Director at Paralogic commented, “The Diocese has similar requirements to any other organisation and being able to implement an IT solution that could support the multiple departments was critical. Scale Computing’s hyperconverged appliance seemed like a natural fit and we worked with them throughout the process from the initial purchasing, through to the implementation and support, to ensure this was a smooth process.”  

Turning to hyperconvergence

It was essential that Westminster could provide server access across the Diocese and on the recommendation of Paralogic, the organisation opted for Scale Computing’s HC3 hyperconverged cluster. Running three nodes, Westminster has achieved the performance it needs to deliver services across the Diocese. “The Paralogic team handled the entire project for us making the transition smooth and easy. Unlike some organisations, at weekends and evenings we have plenty of traffic, but the migration was achieved seamlessly overnight, with no impact on users,” explained de Silva.

Simplified management and business continuity

Scale Computing’s HC3 appliance combines storage, servers, virtualisation and high availability into one easy to use system, providing a complete data centre in a box. The appliance is scalable, self-healing and provides the simplified management the IT team needs in order to best utilise resources. The Scale Computing appliance also provides snapshots, replication and cloning for business continuity.

Plant commented, “Scale Computing’s hyperconverged solution was ideal for the Diocese. The appliance is easy to use and requires minimal management, allowing the team to focus their time elsewhere.”

“Hyperconvergence improves processing, so it’s likely that after three years the system will still perform favourably when compared with new technology and we don’t expect to budget for replacement infrastructure until year six,” explained de Silva.

Delivering results  

“The Scale Computing appliance has provided the performance, ease of use and simplified management we needed at Westminster. As I have also been tasked with acting as the ICT Manager for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark, we will be deploying the HC3 cluster in their curia offices,” de Silva commented. “Ultimately, Scale Computing’s hyperconvergence solution offers better stability, which means we have less in the way of server-side support issues to deal with.”

Scale Computing also provides the flexibility to add capacity on demand, eliminating the need to over provision storage. “Having the ability to simply scale as and when needed is a great resource. We can’t budget for unknown growth and capacity and it’s reassuring to know Scale Computing will be able to meet our future requirements,” noted de Silva. 

“Hyperconvergence has enabled us to meet all of our requirements and Paralogic has been on hand throughout the entire process. Their advice and enablement in helping us to opt for Scale Computing’ HC3 cluster has allowed us to upgrade our IT environment, providing the enhanced services we need,” concluded de Silva.