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Manchester-Area School Revamps Infrastructure in Preparation for Rapid IT Growth

Ashton on Mersey School in Greater Manchester, UK, has consolidated its server infrastructure and implemented a scalable virtual storage system to prepare for rapid IT growth.

The school heads a recently formed academy trust, called the Dean Trust, which gives its three member schools academy status, common leadership and governance, and shared expertise and resources, including IT infrastructure. As part of its role in the Dean Trust, Ashton on Mersey School anticipated rapid IT growth and needed to revamp its IT architecture to prepare for that growth.

The school used to have 30 servers, which were operating at just 10 percent of CPU capacity. The school needed to immediately improve server availability and performance and reduce costs, so the Dean Trust recruited LIMA Networks, an IT support firm, to oversee the project. The company reduced the number of servers from 30 to four and created a scalable NetApp virtual storage system featuring data de-duplication technology and several applications.

The new system provides efficient and powerful data management, replication, and restoration capabilities. The NetApp hardware provides a storage platform for infrastructure resilience and instant failover. The new system also provides increased flexibility and scalability. Now Ashton on Mersey school can scale its IT services both locally and to a wider area, giving it the ability to host IT services for other schools in the future.

The Dean Trust member schools include Ashton on Mersey School, Ashton on Mersey School Sixth Form, Ashton on Mersey Teaching School, Forest Gate Academy, and Broadoak School.

Further information about LIMA Networks can be found at

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].