North Carolina State University’s Virtual Computing Lab (VCL) has many uses. Virtual desktops allow students to access the educational software they need without ever having to step foot in a computer lab, while researchers use the same infrastructure for high-performance computing.
For the lab’s IT staff, the private infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud simplifies IT support and reduces costs by allowing the university to consolidate computer labs. Moving forward, IT plans to use the VCL for disaster recovery and hopes to integrate it with other universities to share server resources.
“Our virtual computing system keeps evolving. There is a lot we can do with it,” says Marc Hoit, NC State’s vice chancellor for information technology and CIO.
“It gives us the nimbleness, flexibility and efficiency that everyone is looking for.”
IaaS can prove a savior to colleges and universities with limited IT budgets, small IT staffs or packed data centers with no room for expansion. Through virtualization, institutions can consolidate their data centers and build their own private cloud, or they can outsource their server, storage and network connectivity needs through public and community clouds. IaaS can also provide a cost-effective method for backup and disaster recovery.
Using IaaS to deploy virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is becoming more popular. As distance learning programs grow, and students and staffers increasingly flood campuses with myriad mobile devices, providing access to applications and computer resources anytime, anywhere is fast becoming a must-have technology resource.
Read the full article online at: EDTECH Magazine