The University of Sussex has around 16,000 students and 3,500 staff, based mainly on one campus on the outskirts of Brighton. It’s ranked as one of the top twenty universities in the country. In February 2016 the university approved the replacement of both their end of life storage platform, and the outdated and vastly underpowered virtualisation environment. These were originally run as two projects, despite being very closely interlinked.
Dell-based storage solution
The objective was to implement a new Dell-based storage solution, redundant across two data centres. The primary data centre already existed on campus, but the secondary remote data centre would need to be scoped, defined and implemented. On top of this would be a new virtualisation solution, similarly redundant across both sites, with the appropriate new connectivity required. Once everything was in place, all data and VM’s in scope were to be migrated.
The go-live was planned for September 2016, a date dictated by the fragility of the existing solutions which were causing significant university-wide outages on a regular basis. By October it had become obvious to the Director of IT that this project wasn’t delivering, and City Change Management were asked to step in and provide a project management expertise to recover the situation.
Upon appointment, CCM conducted emergency planning and updated the project definition documentation to ensure the University directorship was clear on what it needed to achieve. Once this was approved, our Project Manager produced the management plan with an updated scope, risks, resources and budget. All other governance documentation was updated, we then quickly established weekly project team meetings to ensure everyone (including suppliers) knew their role on the project and most importantly the deliverables.
Secondary data centre live within 2 months
A full audit of what had, or had not, been ordered, along with its current physical status, was done. All remaining deliverables were designed, quoted for and where possible, ordered. The secondary data centre was live within 2 months of our arrival, and an outline migration plan and schedule for the remainder of the project has been agreed. Every element of the budget is now fully understood and costed, funding clarified and agreed. Sussex University can now work towards a firm date for completion with a high degree of certainty, governed by a defined, well communicated project.
Project recovery – where to find out more
Please get in touch if you need help with a project that is not going to plan – we can help.