Catholic Secondary School (UK) gets an up-grade


  • Edge
  • Applications
  • Education

Executive Summary

This Catholic Secondary School in England has a great reputation for being a specialist school in ICT and mathematics. While the subject teaching and the technical staff are ‘top of the class’, the IT infrastructure is increasingly getting squeezed. Operating within a very tight budget, they simply don't have the funding to invest heavily in computing equipment and a large IT team. Sunlight’s HyperConverged Edge is modernizing the existing infrastructure, automating processes and helping funds (and time) to stretch further than before.


  • IT infrastructure is distributed across the school site for multiple uses. This presents a challenge to manage and to keep up to date.
  • The IT team resources are small and stretched thin. There is a knowledge dependency on key individuals which presents a risk.
  • IT infrastructure needs upgrading but with a very limited budget it is hard to deliver all of the required upgrades.

Sunlight Solution

  • The Sunlight HyperConverged Edge is helping the school simplify and automate their IT infrastructure.
  • The Sunlight NexCenter makes it easier to manage and automate the delivery of the school’s applications and infrastructure - helping to reduce the risk and simplify the knowledge required for IT staff to deploy the key applications.
  • Sunlight is providing a cost-effective and efficient way to run more workloads with less hardware, allowing budgets to stretch further.



Reduction in infrastructure costs versus other potential solutions

Upgrading aging infrastructure on a budget

The aging IT infrastructure at the Catholic School was getting increasingly costly to maintain and support. The need to upgrade it became urgent with the looming Windows 11 upgrade deadline and the need for compatible hardware. However, upgrading hardware is not cheap or easy - especially with more than 20 servers running different tasks and distributed around the large school site.

The services cover a variety of uses from Virtual Desktops, data back up, and Windows Active Directory domains through to door access control and catering application services. The Sunlight HyperConverged Edge infrastructure adds a lightweight edge cloud layer (and a new lease of life) to their existing servers, enabling the IT team to condense the total number of servers required and, most importantly, to automate the delivery of applications and services to students and staff.

“Our biggest challenge has always been the money side of things - specifically not having much of it. I have to prioritize which machines get changed and even when we invest in new machines, I still need to find the time to plan the server migration and conduct user training as our apprentices haven’t done this before.”

Senior IT Technician

Simplifying IT in schools with the Sunlight Edge technology

The Senior IT Technician joined the school on completion of his own apprenticeship. Over time, his role has evolved from installing new computers, migrating servers and generally fixing things to managing the entire network and infrastructure. He is a key resource in delivering IT services for the school and has a lot of unique knowledge. This means that he is very busy, with little time or resource to train others.

The Sunlight NexCenter provides a single pane of glass to orchestrate and manage all of the physical server infrastructure as well as an AppLibrary for one-click deployment and automated updating of applications. This is one of the biggest benefits that Sunlight offers - simply set the infrastructure up and forget about it (with a few small tweaks now and again). If he wants to deploy a new service, then he creates a playbook in the AppLibrary to create the logic once and deploy any number of times. In the past, he would have to create a monolithic Operating System, Application and configuration bundle as a multi-Gigabyte image that has to be maintained, security patched and updated. Now he can just define how his application deploys, and Sunlight takes care of all the dependencies including the updates to the application itself as part of the automation script. He has more time on his hands now to help his system users, and he has less things to worry about when it comes to deploying and managing his IT infrastructure.

“Sunlight is not only more cost effective than other infrastructure solutions but more efficient, robust and simple to manage. It is designed to solve the specific challenges you have in schools where you have different types of technology in distributed locations around the school and budgets are tight. The cost and time saving have surpassed my expectations - allowing me to focus on other things.”

Senior IT Technician