News Release

Deakin University Maximises Virtualisation and Sustainability With Cisco Unified Computing System to Accelerate Delivery of Services to the Classroom

Cisco Unified Computing System Supports University's Green Agenda, Significantly Reducing Power Consumption in the Data Centre
Mar 29, 2010

SYDNEY, Australia - March 30, 2010 - Cisco announced today that Deakin University, one of Australia's fastest-growing research universities, is upholding its reputation for the early adoption of innovative technology by transitioning to the Cisco Unified Computing SystemTM platform for its next-generation data centre. The Cisco Unified Computing System will enable Deakin University to streamline its data centre resources, reduce infrastructure costs and improve business agility well into the future.

In its strategic plan for 2012, Deakin declared its mission to be a catalyst for positive change and to be recognised as Australia's most progressive university. Deakin University has already received accolades for its innovative use of technology in teaching and learning, and for its education and training partnerships, by being twice named University of the Year by the Good Universities Guide.

The transition to a Cisco Unified Computing System platform, with design and deployment support from Dimension Data, one of the first globally certified Authorized Technology Provider Partners for the Cisco Unified Computing System, aligns with the university's vision for positive change. The Cisco® solution:

  • Scales Service Delivery to Increase Business Agility.  The Deakin University information technology (IT) department supports 300 software applications and is continually challenged to enhance the research and learning experience of 34,000 students and 2,600 academic and administrative staff. The Cisco Unified Computing System will improve the responsiveness of the IT department by rapidly accelerating the delivery of applications: Rather than take up to 12 weeks as it typically did in the past, delivery will now take only minutes. This means teachers and students will have faster and more reliable access to teaching and learning tools such as online English-learning programs for the large number of international students, a new external exam-booking system for students, and a course materials dispatch and tracking system. Of critical importance in 2010 will be a new Learning Management System that the university will implement to be regularly accessed by more than 20,000 students each day.
  • Radically Reduces the University's Data Centre Carbon Footprint. The Cisco Unified Computing System will support Deakin University's green initiatives and broader sustainability agenda by significantly improving the energy efficiency of its data centre. The technology will decrease the university's footprint by reducing the amount of physical infrastructure such as servers and cabling, which will in turn deliver a reduction in power consumption and cooling costs. To further support its sustainability approach, Deakin University is investigating the implementation of Cisco EnergyWise this year to help measure, monitor and reduce the energy consumption of devices connected to the network, such as phones, laptops and wireless access points as well as building systems such as lights, elevators, and air conditioning and heating.  By setting management policies to turn off or power down these office devices and building systems when not in use or after hours, the university expects to save up to 20 percent in reduced energy consumption.
  • Streamlines Data Centre Resources to Reduce Total Cost of Ownership.  With a single point of management for server, network and storage access and by radically reducing the number of devices requiring setup, management, power/cooling and cabling, the Cisco Unified Computing System will help dramatically lower the university's IT infrastructure, deployment and ongoing management costs. It will also free up IT department resources, allowing managers to be more strategic and to focus on their business-critical issues.

Simon Mills, networks manager at Deakin University, said: "The ethos of Deakin University is based on progressiveness in teaching and learning, and this philosophy extends to technology as well. The deployment of the Cisco Unified Computing System will allow the department to be so much more responsive and efficient. It will enable us to maximise resources and give us the opportunity to shift our focus from IT maintenance to technology innovation. This in turn will benefit the entire institution, staff, students and teachers."

Deakin University's IT department is collaborating with facilities management to respond to the need for more energy-efficient data centres. With constant pressure to optimize resources and reduce cost, IT and facilities management partnered to improve efficiencies in applications and data centre operations by focusing on power and cooling and innovative technologies that made green sense and economic and operational sense in the university's IT environment.

Ian Alford, group manager of Maintenance and Operations at Deakin University, said: "In order to achieve Deakin University's ambitious Green Data Centre agenda, it was critical for IT and facilities management to collaborate on how to better deliver services to the university. By working cross-functionally with IT, we were able to shift resources to better align with university initiatives such as faster growth, increased research investment, and our environment sustainability initiatives."

Dimension Data designed and deployed the Cisco Unified Computing System solution to help the university bring together the silos in the data centre into one unified architecture using industry-standard technologies. The key components of this approach were the consolidation and virtualisation of compute, network and storage resources into a single energy-efficient system that will help reduce Deakin University's IT infrastructure costs and complexity, help extend the life of its capital assets, and improve business agility well into the future.

David Hanrahan, general manager for Virtual Data Centre Initiatives, Dimension Data, said:  "Virtualisation is now the core building block of modern data centre architecture, creating both challenges and opportunities with the potential to transform the computing environment and deliver significant benefits. Dimension Data is assisting clients to get full advantage of this architectural shift in the data centre by deploying a new computing model that transforms the data centre into a dynamic IT environment and by using our significant experience in this area to reduce the risks of transitioning to this new environment."

Ken Boal, director of Public Sector, Cisco Australia and New Zealand, said: "Cisco is building momentum around its Unified Computing System architecture, revisiting the way organisations approach the data centre. This transformation to an increasingly dynamic environment enables Deakin University to deliver better, faster and more efficient services that further enhance the education environment."

The university's Cisco Unified Computing System data centre architecture will be designed and deployed by Dimension Data at the university's main campuses in Burwood and Geelong, Victoria, and will integrate with its Cisco Borderless Network architecture, comprising Cisco Nexus®, Catalyst® and MDS Family switches; Cisco Unified Wireless solutions; and Cisco IronPort® applications for e-mail security. The network is designed to support a portfolio of communication solutions including Cisco Unified Wired and Wireless IP Phones and digital media signage.

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About Deakin University

Deakin University is an Australian public university with over 34,000 higher education students as of 2009. It has campuses in the coastal cities of Geelong, Melbourne, and Warrnambool, Victoria. More information can be found at