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Auburn U Deploys Virtualization Platform

Two colleges at Auburn University in Alabama have dealt with the problem of aging IT infrastructure and limited IT staff by implementing a virtualization platform.

The colleges within Auburn University function autonomously from each other, with their own budgets and staff. When the College of Architecture, Design and Construction reduced its IT staff, Joel Beckum was promoted from desktop support to IT coordinator. While he said he felt comfortable managing the college's IT applications, he wasn't prepared to manage its aging back-end infrastructure.

At the same time, Phil Forrest, the information technology manager for the College of Sciences and Mathematics needed to replace his college's aging hardware with a server platform that could handle VMware View and other applications. With an IT staff of three people supporting 5,000 users, he needed a system that would be simple to manage.

Beckum and Forrest worked together to find a virtualization solution that would solve the challenges both colleges were facing. They selected the HC3 platform from Scale Computing. The HC3 platform combines storage, servers and virtualization in a single appliance. It automates management and doesn't require virtualization software licenses. According to the company, the system lets IT "focus on managing applications, not infrastructure."

As an applications guy, the solution suited Beckum's needs. "It simplifies my network infrastructure so that I can be an expert," he said in a prepared statement. "I was a desktop support guy who's now a system admin. Scale makes me look like a pro. As far as my users know, I'm a genius."

HC3 helped Forrest's small team support the college's faculty and students without the need for additional personnel. Forrest also said he likes HC3's built-in hypervisor because "I don't have to deal with or pay another vendor," he said in a prepared statement.

Auburn University is a public university located in Auburn, AL, serving more than 25,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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