AKADEMISKA HUS

transform IT estate to a fully digitized, private cloud environment

Akademiska Hus transforms its IT estate to a fully digitized, private cloud environment built by Fujitsu, providing improved performance and efficiency at a lower cost.

Challenge

Akademiska Hus wanted to digitize every aspect of its IT estate and migrate to a hyper-converged, private cloud environment to become more efficient and flexible. It also needed to deliver scalability and real-time information services.

Solution

After evaluating the market, the company chose long-term server partner Fujitsu. Based on Akademiska Hus’ specifications, Fujitsu built a plug-and-play PRIMEFLEX for VMware Cloud Foundation solution, which now supports 450 users in 16 locations, using VDI.

Outcomes

  • Halves costs while doubling efficiency and performance
  • Reduces energy consumption, saving SEK400k in one year
  • Enables mobility with a fully featured VDI accessible from a smartphone
  • New VDIs can be provisioned at the touch of a button, enabling scale-out on demand
  • Resources can be managed from any location via a single console
It quickly became clear that Fujitsu could provide all the technology we need and scale easily to a hybrid cloud solution. Moreover, in terms of cost, Fujitsu delivered the best bang for our buck.

Per Brantsing Karlsson IT Manager Akademiska Hus

About the customer

Akademiska Hus is one of Sweden’s largest property companies, which collaborates with universities and colleges to build, develop, and manage environments for education, research, and innovation. The company has properties across Sweden, from Luleå in the north to Malmö in the south, where approximately 300,000 people study, perform research, and work.Akademiska Hus is a state-owned property company, meaning it has a special responsibility for leading in sustainability and providing attractive, modern learning environments for Swedish centers of education.

Products and Services

  • FUJITSU Integrated System PRIMEFLEX for VMware Cloud Foundation
  • 14 x FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY RX2540

Digitizing the whole IT landscape

Akademiska Hus started working with Fujitsu servers back in 2006, demonstrating that it has always been at the forefront of technological development. It has also been exploring the potential of introducing a private cloud platform and, as part of this process, began looking at the possibility of digitizing its entire IT environment. The arrival of a new CTO added fresh impetus to this journey.

“We wanted to build a hyper-converged VMware platform that would embrace both servers and the desktop,” explains Per Brantsing Karlsson, IT Manager, Akademiska Hus. “It needed to deliver efficiency, scalability, and real-time information services. The next step was to the find the right partner for the project.”

Akademiska Hus evaluated what was available on the market and found that many vendors were beyond its budget, while others could only provide one component of the overall solution. Having worked closely with Fujitsu in the past, Akademiska Hus invited it to propose a solution.

“We were already comfortable with Fujitsu hardware, so it made sense to involve the team in the discussions,” adds Karlsson. “It quickly became clear that Fujitsu could provide all the technology we need and scale easily to a private cloud solution. Moreover, in terms of cost, Fujitsu delivered the best bang for our buck.”

A comprehensive, flexible and scalable platform

Akademiska Hus carried out internal research and provided Fujitsu with the results, enabling it to come back with a proposal based on FUJITSU Integrated System PRIMEFLEX for VMware Cloud Foundation. This is a turnkey, integrated system that includes all the hardware and software needed to simplify deployment of a large-scale hyper-converged software-defined data center infrastructure.

It combines high-performance, energy-efficient Fujitsu PRIMERGY standard x86 servers and VMware Cloud Foundation, an integrated platform that delivers enterprise-ready services for compute, storage, networking, and security in combination with unique lifecycle management capabilities. The Akademiska Hus solution is built on 14 x FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY RX2540, hosting virtual machines for general purpose and VDI workloads.

“The new system was built to order in Germany, tested and then shipped to us, where we simply plugged it into the rack and switched it on,” continues Karlsson.

“Each of the 14 servers supports 35 virtual desktops. To augment the graphical performance, Fujitsu has integrated high-end NVIDIA Tesla M10 graphics cards in each server.”

Now, 450 users across 16 locations have instant access to virtual desktops, no matter where they are. Furthermore, thanks to the NVIDIA graphics cards, demanding and processor-intensive applications, such as AutoCAD, run smoothly so users can easily manipulate 3D building plans, for example.

“The virtual desktops are extremely efficient and can be provisioned at the touch of a button, enabling us to scale out on demand,” says Karlsson. “It also enables flexible mobile working: users can log into a fully featured VDI, including AutoCAD, even from a smartphone.”

Speed, efficiency, sustainability

The new Fujitsu solution has instantly delivered multiple benefits. Not only does it provide users with a more powerful desktop experience, it is also reducing costs across the board.

“By replacing our entire desktop estate with a virtual environment based on thin clients rather than PCs, we have halved costs while doubling efficiency and performance,” comments Karlsson. “It is also more sustainable – from an energy consumption perspective we have seen savings of SEK400k in one year. That shows how much less electricity we are using.”

For Karlsson and his team, the new platform is much easier to manage and maintain; in fact, a single person can manage all the resources from any location via one management console. And if there are any issues, Fujitsu teams are on hand to provide support.

“This solution is built for remote working, whether that be the users themselves or my IT management team,” remarks Karlsson. “That allows us all to be more efficient and flexible, which ultimately makes us more effective and productive as a company.”

When the full migration is complete, Akademiska Hus intends to stretch its private cloud further to embrace IoT and create new information services, thus continuing its digital transformation journey.

“Fujitsu has proven itself to be engaged, responsive, helpful, and eager - qualities that have helped make this co-creation project such a success,” concludes Karlsson. “We will certainly be involving the company in our discussions around introducing a cloud-based IoT platform.”

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