Griffith’s IT 2020 Agility in Action

  • Part of Griffith’s IT 2020 Strategy is promoting an agile university that is aware, flexible, productive and adaptive when it comes to future IT products and services. Recently INS’s Storage Management Services team were able to demonstrate this idea of agility in relation to Griffith’s tier 1 information systems.

Bruce Scott, Associate Director with INS, explained the situation:

‘There are two tier 1 storage arrays at Griffith that provide disk storage that is of the highest level of performance; one based at the Nathan campus and one based at Gold Coast. Together they have a total storage capacity of around 250 Terabytes. Put into perspective, the tier 1 arrays have enough storage to hold the entire contents of the Brisbane white and yellow pages about 1.25 million times.

In early September the existing Tier 1 storage arrays came out of the extended warranty period, leading to a significant jump in the cost to maintain them. Storage Management Services (SMS) began to re-evaluate the comparative costs of maintaining the old storage or replacing it with newer technology. After a successful negotiation phase with our vendor, Hitachi Data Systems, SMS were able to obtain a heavily discounted quote for replacing the arrays that would save the University nearly $120 000 per annum for the next three years, with continued savings after that due to lower ongoing maintenance costs.

While spectacular in and of itself, that isn’t the punch line! The group still needed to develop a proposal and work it through the appropriate University governance processes to ensure a) the money to buy the arrays was available, and b) the proposal was approved. The necessary approvals were obtained, and a purchase order was raised with FBS. FBS demonstrated their capability to be agile and our supplier received the order the very next day. Our vendor demonstrated their agility by delivering two brand new storage arrays with a ‘street value’ of over $3M the very next day! Our SMS and Data Centre teams demonstrated their agility by actually managing to get them both in their respective data centres that same day – a fantastic outcome for Griffith.’

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