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Manchester Metropolitan University Case Study

UK University Drives Efficiency & Productivity with EfficientIP

Project Type

Full DNS, DHCP, and IPAM replacement

Key Benefits

Painless upgrade from previous Infoblox solution
Major cost savings
Increased efficiency and productivity
Enhanced visibility and search capabilities

Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) is the fifth largest university and the second most applied-to tertiary institution in the UK. In addition to the campus team and support line, MMU has about 37,000 students and 4,000 staff members, including 40 in the IT infrastructure department.

With an amalgamation of different colleges with various specialisms, including Technology, Art and Design, MMU is dedicated to providing inspirational teaching to its students. To keep pace with demand and ensure its staff members have access to what they need when they need it, MMU relies heavily on its IT and networking systems.

From start to finish, it has been a painless upgrade. We were working with EfficientIP’s knowledgeable and competent engineers who have helped us at every turn.
Justin Michell, Network Engineer

Overview & Challenges Faced

However, like most universities, it has been challenged by the number of connected devices students bring to the campus each day, expanding the amount of IP addresses under management. To successfully deal with 600 switches that handle more than 10,000 IP addresses and carry out the day-to- day operations, MMU had been using a DNS, DHCP and IPAM (DDI) solution from Infoblox. As it approached end-of-support, Justin Michell, Network Engineer, took the decision to start a tender process and investigate additional DDI solutions that were available on the market.

With a clear set of requirements in mind, Justin and his team evaluated solutions from multiple vendors including EfficientIP and Infoblox. Following the first meeting with EfficientIP and a demo of the product, Justin and his team were very pleased by the capabilities the solution had to offer, and decided to make the move.

We would have gone with whichever solution was right for us. Technically, the easy option would have been to carry on with Infoblox as it would have been a straight upgrade, but financially, it made sense to go with EfficientIP. Their DDI solution was three times cheaper and more feature-rich.

Solutions

The solution purchased by MMU consisted of two EfficientIP SOLIDserver™ 1100 appliances for IPAM, two EfficientIP SOLIDserver™ 1100 appliances for internal DHCP and DNS and two EfficientIP SOLIDserver™ 550 appliances for external DNS. The architecture required by the university also included the NetChange IPLocator feature, which queries network switches and pulls information on what devices are connected to particular interfaces. The resulting data is then stored in the IPAM database.

From start to finish, it has been a painless upgrade. We were working with EfficientIP’s knowledgeable and competent engineers who have helped us at every turn – no question or request has been too much. I would recommend to anyone who is looking for a DDI solution to look into EfficientIP, because I cannot fault the service or the product.

In addition to meeting the same functional requirements as the previous solution, Justin stated efficiency and productivity are the two key benefits he noticed. “The NetChange module has made a big difference, especially for our campus deans. They can respond much quicker to an issue.”

Results

Since deploying EfficientIP, the university has also been impressed with the visibility and the search capabilities. “You can get a lot of information from one search. With other products or systems, you would need to do two or three different searches to get that depth of information. This has helped the staff to easily embrace the new solution”, Justin noted.

EfficientIP engineers’ efficiency and expertise was another win. “The EfficientIP support team is absolutely brilliant. Every time I’ve logged a call, we’ve gotten to the root of the problem. Their team will stay on the phone, even for hours, until they are happy with the outcome – whether it either needs further testing or the problem has been fixed. There are not many companies out there that offer that kind of support.” he explained.

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