Customer Case Study

University of Reading

University of Reading uses Aviatrix to seamlessly and securely integrate the public cloud into its datacenter.


Recently, the IT computing team at the University of Reading in England had a support nightmare on their hands. But a new, seamless cloud extension to a Nutanix-based datacenter has turned that nightmare to a management dream, allowing the university's renowned researchers to manage their own access to computing power.

The Challenge

In an environment where more than 2,000 academics engage in groundbreaking medical and scientific research, there is an intense demand for University computing resources.

To manage the demand, the University had installed a Nutanix-based datacenter on premises and set up an institutional account with Microsoft's Azure cloud for overflow computing power.

But, the university's hybrid-computing design was not working. When researchers asked IT for help arranging computing resources, the backlogged and understaffed university network team was hard pressed to respond quickly, often taking weeks to provide access to a VM in the cloud. The delays were causing extreme stress within the research community.

Researchers often would grow impatient and use personal credit cards to buy access to Azure and expense it to the university. When this happened, the university incurred a significant cost penalty, paying close to 2.5 times institutional rates-that the computing budget could not support. Furthermore, the significant intellectual property represented by the research was at a security risk due to the academic departments' shadow IT practices.

The Aviatrix Solution

The new Nutanix Calm management tool, used with software from Aviatrix Systems, promised to give university researchers instant datacenter access, as well as an invisible extension, if needed, to a highly secure subnet to the Azure public cloud.

Aviatrix, with Nutanix Calm, could:

  1. Create a seamless, secure, and easy integration of the public cloud into the university datacenter
  2. Use the cloud for temporary or variable workloads, and,
  3. Move permanent requirements back onto the Nutanix platform.

The Results

Now, instead of waiting for IT or jumping onto a high-priced, unsecured public cloud, the university has:

  • A compute resource portal to schedule a new compute VM in minutes
  • An easy, automatic datacenter extension
  • Assurance that important workloads are securely run in the cloud
  • Departmental compute budgets that are under control
About the University of Reading

The University of Reading is now recognised as one of the top 200 Universities in the world, and is home to 17,000 students from over 150 countries. We offer a wide range of programmes from the pure and applied sciences to languages, humanities, social sciences, business and arts. New research and the latest thinking continually feed into our teaching, with our academic staff working at the forefront of their fields of expertise, and we remain one of the most popular higher education choices in the UK.