GOAL Academy High School delivers grade-A academic services to students with Lenovo technology Overview GOAL Academy High School delivers academic courses and learning material to students online. But without a centralized server infrastructure in place, the school found it increasingly difficult to react rapidly to curriculum changes, and often suffered from unplanned outages. To boost agility, performance and reliability, GOAL Academy implemented the Lenovo Converged HX3500 Series appliance with Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform software. Supported by the Lenovo solution, GOAL Academy can give students anytime access to up to date learning material – without interruption. GOAL Academy High School is a public charter, online high school serving students from 9th-12th grade up to age 20 throughout the state of Colorado. Of the school’s 3,750 students, over 95 percent are defined by the state as ‘at-risk’ – from gang involvement, criminal behavior, incarceration, abuse, or teen pregnancy – making GOAL Academy the largest alternative education campus in the United States. As an online, blended learning high school, GOAL Academy primarily administers the curriculum to students via the Internet, but academic support staff are also available at 28 drop-in centers across Colorado.
Struggling to keep pace Jamie Trujillo, Director of Information Technology at GOAL Academy High School, takes up the story: “The majority of learning material and instruction is delivered online, so all students are provided with a laptop to access their courses and do their schoolwork. For us to be able to deliver online academic content on time, having a reliable, high-performance IT infrastructure is crucial.” In the past, however, GOAL Academy did not have a centralized server infrastructure in place.
“The Lenovo HX solution is an absolute rock star – the hyperconverged cluster does everything we need it to do and then some.” —Jamie Trujillo, Director of Information Technology, GOAL Academy High School
Jamie Trujillo elaborates: “There was no real back-end infrastructure to speak of – we would have to cobble together servers from existing IT resources ad hoc. Naturally,
this made it very difficult to adapt fast to changes in the curriculum. It also meant that
we were unable to offer advanced curriculum, data management and data
Lenovo Converged HX3500 Appliance
warehousing services. To make matters worse, the servers would sometimes crash,
with Intel® Xeon® E5 family of
bringing student services down.
“As an online high school, it’s very important that we get technology right. To keep
pace with ever-changing academic curriculums and guidelines, and continue
Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform
delivering high-quality educational services, we knew that we needed to modernize our infrastructure.”
Teaming up with Lenovo and Nutanix After evaluating offerings from several vendors, GOAL Academy decided to invest in a hyperconverged infrastructure, as Jamie Trujillo explains: “We were after a high-density solution – we didn’t want to have to manage a huge physical server footprint. Crucially, we wanted to be able to allocate resources fast and react to changes quickly. For us, hyperconvergence deployed as an enterprise cloud, ticked all of the boxes. “Once we knew what kind of infrastructure we wanted, we turned to Lenovo for support. Having worked with Lenovo before, we have a great relationship with the local team and knew that they had the right product for us.” GOAL Academy implemented Lenovo Converged HX3500 Appliance, integrated with Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform software and Intel® S2710 Solid State Drives, for a single software-defined environment. Powered by Intel Xe