| Share

Catholic Education Network to be Dimension Data's First Cisco Unified Computing System Implementation in Australia

Cisco next generation data centre platform to enable rapid infrastructure and application services deployment to over 700 Catholic schools across Australia

For further information:
Helen Han
Dimension Data
Tel: +612 8249 5684


Cisco next generation data centre platform to enable rapid infrastructure and application services deployment to over 700 Catholic schools across Australia

Sydney, Australia – December 11, 2009: Dimension Data announced today that it has signed a contract with the Catholic Education Network (CEnet) for the provision of a virtual data centre infrastructure incorporating the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) solution. The new infrastructure will help CEnet virtualise its server infrastructure and prepare the organisation to provide cloud-based and shared services to educational institutions and classrooms across fifteen Catholic education systems in Australia.

CEnet is Dimension Data’s first Cisco UCS customer in Australia, and Dimension Data’s second Cisco UCS deployment globally.

After a period of rapid growth from three to fifteen dioceses in the last five years, CEnet needed to refresh the server platform in its data centre to deliver infrastructure and application services more efficiently to its members. Other factors which have placed increasing demand on CEnet infrastructure include the Federal Government’s Digital Education Revolution initiative for schools in Australia – driving the use of more computers in classrooms – as well as the Catholic Network Australia initiative, which is seeing fibre optic cable and high speed network connections delivered to Catholic schools over the next three years.

Dimension Data’s solution integrates Cisco UCS (including Cisco Nexus 5000 switches), NetApp’s Expansion Shelves (DS14MK4) for storage, and VMware’s Academic vSphere 4 to provide CEnet with the virtual data centre infrastructure required for cloud-based and shared service delivery.

Commenting on the value to be delivered by the solution, CEnet’s CEO Bede Ritchie said: “Our implementation of a virtual data centre solution is a critical step in helping us address the growing IT demands being felt within the Catholic education sector. As broadband is delivered across our networks, demand for centralised services will naturally expand. Cisco UCS allows us to be more flexible, responsive and efficient in the delivery of our infrastructure and application services to our member dioceses.”

“The immediate benefit of the UCS solution for our dioceses is in being able to run their IT operations more effectively and cost-efficiently. It will help them to more rapidly deploy cutting-edge learning environments, school administration systems, and applications to assist curriculum delivery in a digital age. And while Dimension Data’s solution was no more expensive than other more traditional options, Cisco UCS also provides lower total cost of ownership benefits.”

Commenting on CEnet’s future data centre plans, CEnet’s Solutions Architect Glen Gibson said: “Cisco UCS ties into our longer term IT strategy of utilising our own internal Infrastructure-as-a-Service [IaaS] model to provide Software-as-a-Service capabilities to our member dioceses and schools, many of whom sit in remote geographies. Architecturally, the solution has set us up to be able to provide IaaS to any of our members ‘on-tap’ – as well as provision those systems more nimbly than before.”

“Going forward, Cisco UCS stands us in good stead if we’re faced with a compelling event, such as having new critical applications to deploy to the business, planning a data centre refresh or consolidation, or considering a data centre relocation.”

Dimension Data’s David Hanrahan, General Manager who heads the company’s virtual data centre initiative said: “Cisco UCS offers CEnet an evolutionary advance in the data centre. This is an exciting opportunity to re-architect CEnet’s application delivery platform and provide the organisation with the compelling value proposition of higher service levels to its schools and better service continuity for that platform. In the case of infrastructure failure, there’s no longer a loss of service for CEnet, just a drop in capacity.”

Commenting on CEnet’s reasons for awarding the contract to Dimension Data, Mr Gibson said: “Dimension Data understood our goal to be innovative and act as a true service provider to schools to quickly deploy IaaS in the form of new learning and education applications. And the timing was right for us to move to a virtualised server and data centre platform by utilising Cisco UCS.”

“An added bonus was that Dimension Data showed us how we could capitalise on our existing NetApp storage infrastructure, which was more cost-effective than moving to an alternative vendor’s platform. This allowed us to continue using our in-house NetApp skills, making Cisco UCS a clear winner. Dimension Data demonstrated strong capabilities in the Cisco UCS platform.”

In June 2009, CEnet management experienced first-hand the end-to-end Cisco UCS platform (including storage and virtualisation) at Cisco’s demonstration lab in Sydney. And in September, Dimension Data successfully ran a customer proof-of-concept for CEnet.

“CEnet is leading the way with its data centre modernisation and move to cloud-based service. CEnet now offers an agile compute platform for next generation learning at an efficient cost model,” said Ken Boal, Director of Public Sector for Cisco Australia and New Zealand.  “Together with Dimension Data, CEnet will introduce Cisco UCS as the platform for transforming how member dioceses will tap into high-quality teaching and learning services on-demand from even the most remote areas.”

In other news, in 2009 Dimension Data was named Cisco Australia and New Zealand Data Centre Partner of the Year, as well as Cisco Data Centre Partner of the Year for the Asia-Pacific region.

About Dimension Data

Dimension Data plc (LSE:DDT), a specialist IT services and solution provider, helps clients plan, build, support and manage their IT infrastructures. Dimension Data applies its expertise in networking, converged communications, security, data centre and storage, Microsoft and contact centre technologies, and its unique skills in consulting, integration and managed services to create customised client solutions.  www.dimensiondata.com

About CEnet

CEnet is a not-for-profit services company supporting a collection of Catholic education networks currently connecting 704 school communities across metropolitan, regional and rural New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. The company was incorporated in May 2007. CEnet’s member dioceses share a common vision for a network and learning architecture suitable for the support of education and evangelisation in the digital age and have put their combined resources behind the development of centralised, managed services to deliver this architecture.