Hibernia College is an internationally accredited, global provider of high quality education programmes and is recognised as a world leader in teacher training. Its success is based on a blended learning format that combines interactive, multimedia-rich online content with periodic face-to-face tuition.

As the College has grown, it recognised it needed more than a reliable hosting provider but an expert technology partner with a robust, resilient infrastructure, global reach and the proven capability to provide support around-the-clock. Aware of its reputation in the industry, Hibernia College put Sungard AS at the top of its list when evaluating potential partners.

As Rob O’Neill, Director of IT at Hibernia College points out, “We are not data centre experts so I had to make sure we had people who know what they are doing looking after our infrastructure and, in the event of something going wrong, had a plan in place to deal with that.”

The College relies on managed multi-tenanted cloud services from Sungard Availability Services to ensure its critical online learning environment is available 24/7, giving students access to their learning materials, enabling them to upload their assignments and interact with fellow students on discussion forums. “It was important that we didn’t give them a platform that was flaky in any way, limiting their access. We wanted to work with a world leader in data centre hosting and Sungard AS met those requirements,” says Rob O’Neill.

He adds, “One of the things I was really impressed by was their policy and procedures regarding security and access. We laid out what our requirements were – we needed robustness, resilience, security and capacity – and they guided us to the best solution.”

The managed cloud service provided by Sungard AS gives Hibernia College the reassurance of 99.95% availability, backed by an enterprise-grade service level agreement. “The internet is effectively our college campus so any downtime is equivalent to slamming the gates on our students,” Rob O’Neill explains. “So far, since 2012, we have had zero unplanned downtime, which is great for me and fantastic for our students.”

The College experiences distinct peak periods with intense demand when students upload assignments and daily lesson plans. Rob O’Neill says, “The guaranteed bandwidth provided by Sungard AS’ managed cloud service is essential to cope with bursts in demand. Scalability is also a key factor for us. We have certain peak times, particularly around assignments. We don’t have to build a massive infrastructure for the peaks but can build it for the norm and flex out for the peaks as required.”

Hibernia College effectively subscribes to the compute power and storage it needs today in the knowledge that Sungard AS’ vast resource pool will give it the flexibility it needs in the future.

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