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Epiphany School of Global Studies Keeps Class in Session with Atlantis HyperScale

The Epiphany School of Global Studies is one of the most successful independent college-preparatory schools in the nation, preparing students in K-12th grades for a world of diverse cultures and people. When student demand for faster computer resources outpaced the school’s IT infrastructure and budget, Epiphany turned to Atlantis Computing, the leading provider of software-defined storage (SDS).

In the 10 years since Epiphany first opened in New Bern, NC, the school has experienced enormous growth, beginning with 7th – 11th grade classes and expanding later to a full K-12th grade enrollment. Students and teachers rely on a media center comprising Citrix-based virtual desktop PCs to study and complete class projects, in addition to a network that supports classroom and administrative programs.

As the school’s curriculum evolved, officials began to notice performance wasn’t meeting demand. The students suffered slow response as more logged onto their applications at the same time. The school added another server, additional memory and storage but response times were still an issue and were consuming precious budget without solving the problem.

“We began to notice that our network resources, especially in the media centers, were never enough to support the number of students who were coming in and working on our virtual desktops at the same time. We could see huge lags in the system when both media centers were full,” said Bobbi Jo Kelly, Epiphany director of IT. “Students commonly complained about system performance and access to the Internet. And it seemed to us that we were never able to keep our workloads up with the growth of our school and within budget.”

In response, Epiphany replaced its existing server and storage infrastructure with a 12 TB Atlantis HyperScale appliance. Atlantis HyperScale integrates servers, storage and virtualization into a single appliance that dramatically improves storage performance at 50–90 percent lower cost. With HyperScale, Epiphany eliminated its performance problems with an all flash-storage configuration, reduced power costs by 70 percent, and cut overall capacity requirements by 80 percent.

“Since we installed the HyperScale solution, I have not heard a single complaint from our students about the speed and performance of our computers, which is great because they’re usually the ones who get frustrated the most,” Kelly said. “We now run our entire network on the HyperScale solution. Phone server, domain controller, Internet, everything is done on one HyperScale appliance, which has increased the speed and productivity throughout the entire campus.”

Kelly said the school is also saving money by adding greater computing performance while reducing the amount of money it used to spend to maintain and power its servers.

“Our HyperScale appliance has replaced three servers, which required an enormous amount of energy to power,” she said. “So obviously there’s a cost savings there of having one appliance vs. three servers. The cost of it alone is much more beneficial to a school of our size. Now we don’t have to keep adding hardware every year to keep up with the workload.”

“Epiphany is leading in both classroom and technology innovation,” said Bob Davis, Atlantis chief marketing officer. “Faced with a mountain of data and requirements to be more efficient, organizations like Epiphany are increasing their agility and efficiency thanks to the performance of flash, the simplicity of hyper-convergence, and the scalability and low cost of cloud computing. Using Atlantis software and appliances, enterprises will be able to drive the cost of all-flash configurations down to the point where flash will replace disk throughout the entire data center.”

To find out more about the work that Atlantis has been doing with Epiphany please view the following:

Case study: Atlantis HyperScale boosts prep school’s VDI performance to an A+

https://portal.atlantiscomputing.com/documents/case-studies/cs-hyperscale-epiphany_school.aspx

 

Published Wednesday, December 09, 2015 9:51 AM by David Marshall
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