Student Information Systems

LA CC District Deploys Application Delivery Controllers to Handle New SIS Loads

A community college system in southern California has implemented a set of application delivery controllers as part of a multi-year transition to a new student information system. The Los Angeles Community College District expects to go fully live with its Oracle PeopleSoft SIS by fall 2017. That project includes four main phases, encompassing the rollout of basic functionality in admissions and recruiting, financial aid, student financials, student records and academic advising, along with the data migration of millions of records.

An application delivery controller is primarily used for load balancing and distribution of network traffic, but it can also perform server health monitoring, application acceleration, offloading of SSL operations and prevention of denial of service and distributed DoS attacks, among other operations.

The new ADCs, selected from Array Networks, will help support high availability of the servers running those functions from two data centers. The college system has placed two of Array's virtual application delivery controllers in its development lab and two APV3600 controllers in its production network. According to the company, additional Array gear is expected to be installed in the district's backup data centers, public clouds and in support of other applications such as Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Active Directory Federated Services.

The college system's CIO, Jorge Mata, said a proof of concept exercise working with multiple application delivery controllers helped his organization choose which company to buy from. "All of the ADCs worked, but we learned how much it took to make them work," Mata said in a prepared statement. "With some, it took weeks of agony. My tech team's reaction to Array spoke volumes; it was so painless that we knew we had a winner. And it's affordable; it solves problems without consuming the budget."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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