Paving the way to digital transformation with a proof of concept cloud environment for City of Glasgow College


About City of Glasgow College

Originally founded in 1956, City of Glasgow College was formed with the merger of three established city colleges and is the largest and most diverse tertiary education establishment in Scotland, catering for 25,000 students and 1,200 staff across two campuses as the single largest college development in Europe. The College offers up to 2,000 professional and technical courses annually from access level to masters level both on campus and online.

The Challenge

With the College purpose to “Let Learning Flourish”, leveraging technology to further enhance the student experience requires innovative solutions to be developed, to meet the needs of both students and staff, whilst also providing value for money.

With terabytes of data stored on premises, the College wanted to explore opportunities to move some existing backup data to the cloud in an affordable way, as a pathfinder for future services to be deployed securely, in  a controlled way, from or into the cloud.

The Solution

CirrusHQ were engaged by AWS to design and implement a proof of concept cloud environment on AWS to allow City of Glasgow College to test modern data protection from on premises to cloud, using existing software already invested in by the College. A reference architecture cloud Landing Zone was built to secure and implement governance across all of City of Glasgow College’s AWS Accounts with centralised dashboards and logging and a cloud storage layer was configured within the Landing Zone to allow the College to test use of the backup as a backup target for their existing backup implementation on premises.

The Benefits

  • Successful proof of concept solution delivered by CirrusHQ to prove the use case for the College
  • The College now has the ability to reduce or remove on-premises hardware provisioning for backup and remove manual intervention for tasks such as changing tape drives, replacing faulty hardware, scaling storage space, etc.
  • Cloud target layer now provides the College with guaranteed availability and durability for data protection
  • Reference architecture landing zone layer allows the College to implement further use cases on AWS within a securely controlled, monitored and managed cloud architecture


“CirrusHQ’s deep and expert knowledge of AWS made it easy and efficient for us to test and implement immutable backup in the cloud. Combining with native integration of our existing investments gave us peace of mind that we kept our data safe and had a future footprint to consider other cloud services.” 

Barry Ashcroft, Director of IT, City of Glasgow College