The Purcell School

The Purcell School is the oldest specialist music school in the UK, it is situated in the town of Bushey, Hertfordshire. In 2014 Connect Systems were asked by the Bursar to work with the IT Manager in reviewing the existing IT systems with a view to developing a roadmap for the short, medium and longer term.

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The first course of action was to attend to the existing server infrastructure, which was ageing and required consolidation. We felt this was the priority area in the first year and we proposed to replace the existing RM CC4 network with an industry standard resilient VMware multi-host environment running Windows virtual machines, which in turn enabled us to expand the functionality of the network with more flexibility and choice of configuration than ever before.

After completing phase one, our attentions turned to the ageing PC workstations. It was decided that we should deliver a Citrix virtual desktop solution to each of the existing PCs, in order to provide an up-to-date and snappy user experience. The benefit of this meant we did not need to invest heavily in new PCs, as the existing desktop hardware could happily be used for many more years, given that each user session resided on the server itself.

The next phase was to deploy a fast and reliable WiFi solution for student and teacher devices. A site survey was completed to scope requirements and in the summer of 2018, a centrally controlled Ruckus WiFi system was implemented – giving secure wireless service with excellent site coverage.

This year, in line with the School’s long term strategy, we migrated the mail system from onsite Exchange to Googlemail. Aside from providing full integration with Google Classroom, this has also meant there will be a future cost saving, as we will be able to reduce the onsite footprint when considering future server hardware refreshes.

To this day, we continue to work closely with the IT Manager in order to provide day-to-day support in addition to reviewing and researching options to improve the IT systems in the future.

Simon Kingsbury, IT Network Manager at The Purcell School says, “As a small school with limited resources, working with Connect gives us access to a large wealth of knowledge and experience, whenever we need it.”