The University of Tasmania is a multi-campus learning institution based in Hobart, Tasmania. The university’s faculties are divided into five major learning hubs that service close to 30,000 students and staff members. There are in excess of 12,000 end point devices and 50,000 users and group Configuration Items that the university’s IT Services group is responsible for managing.
Historically, each faculty managed its own IT environment. As a consequence, there were multiple instances of System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (Configuration Manager 2007) in operation with each faculty responsible for its own Standard Operating Environment (SOE). This created duplicated effort as each faculty packaged applications and each Configuration Manager 2007 instance was managed separately.
Nathan Tenaglia, the Manager of Enterprise Services, explains.
“From a user perspective the experience was very inconsistent. They would go from one computer in one area to another and have two totally different user experiences. From a service desk point of view it was very difficult and expensive to manage as service desk staff only had access to certain operating environments from certain areas”.
The duplication made it difficult to provide a complete and consistent service to all users and the university was incurring extra costs through inconsistent software license management.
Mr Tenaglia met with key leaders of each faculty hub and presented the challenges. The result of this meeting was to initiate a new project to leverage a new centralised deployment solution. With the enhancements investigated, the university decided that System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (Configuration Manager 2012) would provide the best solution to this business need.
The project the university embarked on had two distinct streams – a consolidation of multiple SOEs managed through a centralised Configuration Manager 2012 instance while migrating all resources across to the new Configuration Manager 2012 infrastructure.
Mr Tenaglia said Xello’s expertise in solution architecture was invaluable in unpicking the complexity of the previous solution. Xello assisted with the design solutions architecture documentation and identified the key decision points that needed to be addressed for the project to succeed. This included requirements such as look-and-feel, group policies and everything that would affect the user experience.
Mr Tenaglia’s major requirement was to ensure simplicity of the solution was top of mind. “My general mantra is ‘Less is more’. I don’t like complications. I like simple design architecture. If it’s easy to access and use then it’s easy to support”. Mr Tenaglia invested in training for all the IT staff involved in the project that was fulfilled by Xello SMEs as well as attending events such as Tech Ed to ensure the staff members involved in the deployment and operation of Configuration Manager 2012 were well prepared.