Diving Into the Cloud | Feature
Improving System Reliability
- By Rama Ramaswami, Dian Schaffhauser
A shift to cloud-based operations can help ensure high service availability and solid data recovery. That was a major impetus at Lone Star College System (TX), a large community college system in Houston that recently implemented a private cloud.
Before then, whenever the system's PeopleSoft ERP was put to the test, such as at the start of a semester, IT staff simply crossed their fingers and hoped. "It wasn't a question of whether the ERP would crash, but when," says Link Alander, associate vice chancellor of technology services. Furthermore, he adds, "core services--the network, internet connectivity, campus connectivity--used to break all the time."
In a massive overhaul of its IT operations encompassing both infrastructure and organizational changes, Lone Star consolidated 13 data centers down to two, which are much more easily replicated, using a combination of gear from HP, EMC, and VMware. Now, "we've achieved five-nines availability of our critical applications," says Alander, using IT jargon to describe an uptime record of 99.999 percent.
Rama Ramaswami is a business and technology writer based in New York City.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.