Hi-Tech Heritage: Lenovo Preserves the Past with Futuristic Solutions

Summary: For 25 years, Six Nations Polytechnic (SNP) has impacted the lives of students in their community through Indigenous education and language revitalization programs. Growing into a second campus, the postsecondary institution needed a new IT infrastructure that could easily expand with their needs. With the help of I/OVision, the school implemented the Lenovo Converged HX3500, powered by Nutanix software and Intel® Xeon® E5 family of processors. By tightly integrating SNP's technologies in a seamless manner, Lenovo is helping preserve the ancient languages of the past through the innovative coding languages of the future.
 
 
Amidst the hum of mosquitoes and the deep baritone of bullfrogs, 24-year-old Kaylin Parker dips her paddle into the water as she navigates her canoe through the darkness of the evening. The sound of her rhythmic strokes blend with those of her accompanying group as they reverently tell stories about a rich culture full of connection to both its people and its land. While the night paddle could easily be mistaken as a scene from a picturesque travel novel, the event is part of a youth ambassador program that Parker helped coordinate through Six Nations Polytechnic (SNP), an institution focused on achieving excellence in Indigenous education and language revitalization. Currently the school’s development officer intern, Parker has come full circle — from a confused freshmen at SNP to a confident graduate with a degree in Indigenous Studies and Theater and Film.
 
The young intern’s story is just one example of the impact the Indigenous owned and operated postsecondary school has made since opening their doors 25 years ago. Headquartered in Ohsweken, Ontario, SNP first came into being after the Six Nations community saw the need to provide a place where their students could get an education without having to give up their cultural identity. With digitized resources, such as the Deyohahá:ge: Indigenous Knowledge Centre, the institute is also on the forefront of using the new language of technology to help preserve the old, endangered languages of Six Nations. “Without technology, where would our information be, other than in a shoebox in someone’s basement?” asks Linda Parker, Director of Institutional Advancement at SNP.
 
Realizing the importance of technology working seamlessly in the school’s background, Parker turned to I/OVision - an IT business enabler based in Burlington, Ontario - when the school expanded to their second campus in Brantford. With the challenge of implementing a new IT infrastructure that could easily expand as needs grew, Parker reached out to I/OVision Account Manager Josie Kocsis and explained the school’s unique juxtaposition of needing to preserve ancient languages. Knowing everything there is to know about IT infrastructure, along with their longstanding relationship with the Lenovo Data Center Group, I/OVision was able to recommend a  hyperconverged infrastructure system to SNP.
 
Already experiencing success in productivity from ease of management and flexibility in modular expansion, I/OVision was confident in their recommendation after refreshing their own IT infrastructure with the Lenovo Converged HX3500, powered by Nutanix software and Intel® Xeon® family of processors. And just as a river of stories and traditions are held within the intricate framework of Six Nations languages, the solution tightly integrates computers, storage, networking and other technologies in a flawless manner, no matter the scale.
 
“Because of our highly-collaborative relationship with Lenovo, we were right on the forefront of seeing the immediate benefits of the Lenovo and Nutanix solution,” says David Stitt, Director of Sales and Marketing at I/OVision. “Their communication and partnership allowed us to roll out what would best fit SNP’s unprecedented and unpredictable growth.”
 
With plans to expand from 200 students to 1,000 in the next five years, this versatility is vital to the institution. “Bottom line, I/OVision, Lenovo and Nutanix are giving us the ability to implement our plans for the future,” says Parker. “We have the system in the box and we’ll never have to replace it. I don’t think anyone in our community would be able to stake that about their IT products.”

Silently intermingling into every aspect of the campus, the reliability of the hyper-converged solution is also allowing the staff and students to effortlessly reap its benefits without even thinking about it. “When technology is invisible, it allows our learners and teachers to not be dependent on what devices are in their hands. Rather, it’s just there and works,” says Nathan Jamieson, Information Systems Manager at SNP.
 
“And then for me,” he adds. “Having that dependability, the workhorse that is Lenovo, gives me the chance to work on other things, like sorting out the nitty gritty of new information systems. I don’t have to spend my time worrying about infrastructure.”
 
Enabling the school to develop and share programs, such as the Cayuga language app, this quiet reliability of the Lenovo HX Series solution is also bringing a transition among the younger generation of the community. “I think the biggest thing that I’m seeing, is the shift technology is making on young people from the reserve,” says Jamieson. “You’re now cool if you can speak the language, whereas before, when I was growing up, it was almost shameful.”
 
As the Lenovo-Nutanix infrastructure continues to aid Six Nations Polytechnic’s vision, the school will move forward in preserving and sharing the community’s language and culture. With this year already bringing the convocation for their first accredited bachelor of arts degree outside their partnership programs, the institute is now setting their sights on opening their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) academy this fall — a high school modeled around the Internet of Things.
 
Excited about these new developments, Jamieson attributes the intermixing of technology and education to the acceptance and celebration of his community’s cultural identity. “Four or five years ago, if we wanted to get a degree, then we were secluded from the community,” he says. “Now, students don’t have to give up who they are to become who they want to be.”
 
 
Quotes:
Nathan Jamieson, Information Systems Manager at Six Nations Polytechnic
  • “I/OVision has gone above and beyond and really identified our needs as an Indigenous education facility. Add in the Lenovo infrastructure and it really was the perfect marriage for us.”
  • “Our adoption of technology is growing at an exponential rate and we’re constantly revisiting our projections and budgets. Having the scale of the Lenovo solution, backed with Nutanix and Intel, allows us to scale back and ramp up where we need.”
 
David Stitt, Director of Sales and Marketing at I/OVision
  • “The value Lenovo delivers not only to our organization but to our clients, allows us to remain competitive within a very competitive sector.
  • “Our relationship with Lenovo is highly collaborative. They keep us up to date on new technologies and how the market is shifting. This allows us to always stay in the forefront and be top of mind as an IT company.”

Solution Components
Hardware
  • Lenovo Converged HX3500 Appliance with Intel® Xeon® E5 family of processors
  • Lenovo RackSwitch G8124E, G8052, G7052
Software
  • Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform
    • Nutanix Acropolis
    • Nutanix Prism
  • VMware ESXi 
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 

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