ICT Strategic Review Case Study – Arden Academy Solihull

By • November 18th 2015

ICT Strategic Review Solihull


Our client………..

A large mixed comprehensive school (recently converted to Academy Status) based in Solihull that caters for around 1500 students. It has a large, diverse network infrastructure spread over multiple buildings which connects around 600 users, 12 servers and 60 network devices.

The Academy had rapidly expanded over a 2 year period which meant the network had grown in a similar manner.  Due to the size of the network, and to support the Academy’s forward-thinking ICT strategy, the first stage of the project was to work alongside the Academy’s already established ICT team to review its network infrastructure, with a view to improving reliability and manageability.

Following the review we were able to advise on the changes needed to realise the following benefits:

  • Enhance the user experience
  • Improve network & server resilience
  • Provide scope for future technologies and growth
  • Increase service availability
  • Ease deployment and management of servers
  • Improve stability of existing services

Our Solution………..

On completion of the first stage of the project, the recommended solution to meet the above objectives was:

To improve network performance and an infrastructure that is capable of hosting future technologies

  • upgrade the core infrastructure
  • upgrade all switches to improve network bandwith
  • design a structured and scalable network to minimise network congestion


To improve network resilience


  • implement redundant links between suitable cabinets
  • upgrade core infrastructure to remove single point of failure
  • implement spanning tree technology and loopback protection at the edge to minimise the effect of ‘loopback storms’
  • Analyse network monitoring data (PRTG) to find potential inefficiencies or bottlenecks
  • Add wireless access points to the network monitoring system so they can be monitored for connectivity and load
  • Improve/expand the Academy’s wireless provision (Ruckus solution)

The end result………

The Academy agreed to implement Synium’s recommendations which resulted in an enhanced user experience by:


  • providing faster access speeds to network resources, eg, user data, email, etc
  • reducing downtime in the event of hardware failure
  • reducing network congestion
  • minimising the effects of ‘loopback storms’ caused by students


In addition, it has also meant a more robust and structured network design that :


  • was scalable to fulfil the Academy’s future requirements
  • could be managed efficiently by the Academy’s IT team
  • was capable of supporting future technologies such as virtualisation
  • reduced future hardware maintenance costs



Our Support during the Project…………

  • Design and procure equipment for the scheme
  • Full project management of the upgrade
  • Liaise with suppliers to ensure the best deal for our client
  • Pre-staging and testing of the hardware
  • Installation of the hardware within network cabinets
  • Installation and configuration of network monitoring software (PRTG)
  • Implementation of the upgrade
  • Analyse network monitoring data (PRTG) to find potential inefficiencies or bottlenecks



Following the successful completion of the project, and due to the excellent working relationship established during the project, the Academy decided to engage Synium’s services for ongoing telephone and on site support to work alongside their IT Manager.


Contact us


0121 663 0203



Instant Support:

Click Here


Brannan Phillips House
Shallowford Court
94-96 High Street
Henley in Arden
B95 5FY