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ULCC add Data Centre switching solution


The University of London Computer Centre (ULCC) is one of the leading IT services providers for the UK’s academic and not-for-profit sectors. Established in 1968 as a regional supercomputing centre following recommendations of the Flower report, it has evolved into a highly respected and innovative brand.

Working closely with key partners and influencers in the education sector as well as commercial partners, ULCC delivers fully integrated IT solutions by leveraging the shared resources of its purpose built data centre.

Today, ULCC’s staff of more than 80 IT experts, learning technologists and digital preservation specialists provide services to over 300 institutions within the UK education and not-for-profit sector. It also hosts, supports and develops Moodle, the leading open source virtual learning environment, for over 3 million registered users across 150 Further and Higher Education institutions. And most recently it welcomed City University as its first High Performance Computing client.

With these ever increasing demands for its services, ULCC decided the time was right to replace its existing Cisco and Brocade switches with a single current generation Data Centre switching solution that will give it the scalable capacity needed to support its future growth. This meant developing a high level of integration between the proposed solution and its VMWare system.


Following a successful tender process, ULCC selected Huawei on the basis of its industry-leading network capabilities as the preferred supplier to help it meet this challenge. At its heart the Huawei solution is a 48 Tb switch providing 100 Gb connectivity between the various racks of equipment.

A complete management solution has also been employed using Huawei’s eSight platform to manage the Huawei and other existing network equipment and nCenter to monitor network resources (including physical servers, VMs, vSwitches) and dynamically adjust physical network profiles based on changes made to the Virtual Machine (VM).


Huawei’s cutting-edge networking solution provides the scalability and reliability we require in order to run a shared data centre infrastructure for the UK education and not-for-profit sector. Over 300 Further and Higher Education institutions in the UK are relying on our data centre facilities to run mission critical IT systems ranging from Agresso Business World, EPrints Research Repositories and Lecture Capture solutions to Virtual Learning Environments.” Comments Steve Knibbs, Head of Infrastructure Services at ULCC.