College Planning & Management

MAR 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 30 of 83

I MPACT O N L EARNING SOLVING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS, ONE PIECE AT A TIME Franklin University project SNAPSHOT PROJECT: Franklin University's Private Cloud INSTITUTION: Franklin University LOCATION: Columbus, OH COMPANY NAME: CDW•G WEBSITE: editor's REVIEW For the IT team at Franklin University, the move to virtualization and then to an internal cloud was almost inevitable to keep up with the University's growth. Franklin was able to build its cloud with the second data center at just 15 percent above the cost of refurbishing the original center. THE CHALLENGE When Franklin University needed an updated IT infrastructure to match the needs created by an evolving mission and rapid growth, the institution turned to cloud computing. "From an IT perspective, we've become an online service provider as we've grown," says director of IT John Miller. "What led us to the internal cloud was the need for flexibility and high availability. We're not yet comfortable with using services from a generic public cloud, so we've created many of the same benefits inside our organization." THE SOLUTION Franklin's IT team was certain that the fluid computing environment of a cloud was the right fit. But instead of tapping into the commercial cloud of services available over the Internet, Franklin built its own private cloud, using VMware virtualization software and CDW•G's Ohio Inter-University contract (which was competitively bid and awarded to CDW•G from the National Joint Powers Alliance [NJPA]), Franklin began replacing its old server hardware with HP ProLiant DL380 G6 physical servers, which pack enough performance punch to support as many as 30 virtual machines. Franklin's private cloud really took shape in 2010, when the university built a second, remote data center with redundant Internet connections to the primary data center on the Columbus campus. Applications are distributed, shared and moved between the two facilities in a fluid computing environment that spreads the processing load and provides maximum flexibility and availability. Stored data is continuously replicated between the facilities, enabling rapid failover and disaster recovery. A recent study by found that 47 percent of students believe technology makes their professors better at their job, making it obvious that they don't just want access to technology; they want it deeply integrated in classrooms. For the IT team at Franklin University, the move to virtualization and then to an internal cloud was an inevitable decision in order to keep up with students' expectations and the university's growth. IMPACT ON LEARNING Providing availability of services and resources to students at any time was a critical reason behind Franklin's adoption of a private cloud model. "We were delivering most of the Franklin University curriculum to almost all of the students," says Miller. "The administration and the students wanted to have resources available 24/7, so we had to keep evolving toward a high-availability model." IOL MARCH 2013 / COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT 31

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of College Planning & Management - MAR 2013