Case Study: Kingsmead School

By admin • October 16, 2018

New Dell VRTX Platform Deployment

Client Name: Kingsmead School
Industry Sector: Education
PC Users: 1000
Locations: Wiveliscombe
Contact: Paul Hopkins
Job Title: Leader of ICT Services
Date: August 2018

Client Background:

Kingsmead School is a coeducational state school in Wiveliscombe, Somerset, England, serving the north-west of Taunton Deane district. It currently has approximately 900 pupils between the ages of 11 and 16 years. The school was awarded Beacon School status in 1998 which was renewed in 2002. In December 2009 Kingsmead received an Outstanding judgement from Ofsted and Good in 2013. In April 2011, Kingsmead became an Academy.


Kingsmead School had for many years utilised several HP Proliant servers, running VMware combined with a Dell EqualLogic 4100 Storage Area Network. With a new school in the planning process and a build period of up to 2 years, it was felt that replacing the school’s core IT infrastructure should be completed before the new school building was built.

The criteria for the replacement of the IT infrastructure was that it should have the ability to serve the school for at least 6 years, be high performance, be able to handle their current and future storage requirements, whilst most importantly providing the school with value for money.

After evaluating solutions from both Hewlett Packard and Dell including the Dell Compellent sc4020, it was determined that whilst the sc4020 was incredibly high performing, it failed to meet the school’s needs due to the high investment required.

Following a site visit to Teign Academy, part of the Education South West Trust, it was felt that their Dell VRTX fully converged platform was perfect for Kingsmead School. This was based on price and the value of having 3 servers, Internal 10GbE switch, redundant power supply and 30TB of SAS storage, combined with a 5-year 4 hr response support contract all wrapped up in a single 5U enclosure.


Following an analysis and requirements gathering phase, it was suggested that the most effective method of delivering a project of this nature was in partnership with the school’s IT Team.

The scope of the project included:

  • The supply, installation and configuration of the new Dell VRTX Platform and its associated VMware ESXi hosts.
  • The design, installation and configuration of the existing HP server and Dell SAN Infrastructure as a replication target.

Other elements included in the project:

  • A complete overview and health check of the school’s Active Directory Domain
  • Upgraded Domain Controllers to Windows Server 2016
  • The migration of existing VMware VMs to new Dell VRTX platform
  • To ensure correct GFS configuration for Veeam Backup and Replication and access to existing backups
  • To setup Veeam replication between the VRTX Core and the replication target
  • Configure 2x existing UPS devices with the PowerChute management solution

In addition, we assisted with the School’s Microsoft SCCM configuration including:

  • Endpoint anti-virus with Sophos
  • Gold image for Windows 10
  • Prepare image for deployment and test
  • Patch Management
  • Configured Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) to resolve login times in Windows 10


Paul Hopkins, Leader of ICT Services at Kingsmead School comments “I have known Kelyan and his technical lead for a number of years and they have always gone the extra mile for us in delivering exactly what we need without breaking the bank. Budget is always a major consideration in any school project and once again the team have come up trumps in providing a lightning fast infrastructure which is light years away from our previous setup. Their ongoing support to ensure that everything is bedding in well has been invaluable and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them to colleagues.”

Kelyan Welsman of IT Champion adds “this is another successful implementation completed by our highly skilled consultants in partnership with our client. We feel that this method enables us to work closely with the client and impart knowledge that enables the client to learn the skills that will help them support their own environment in the future.

Further Information:

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