Aug 13 2010

On the Same Page

Consolidation offers Ohio's educational institutions four major IT benefits, says OARnet Executive Director Pankaj Shah.

Standarization: By building deployment images for end-user systems and servers based on “gold standard” images that can roll out automatically, the state reduces maintenance costs and improves overall computing results.

  • Scalability: The state gains scalability by using VMware to virtualize and cluster servers and storage. For the database, it uses Oracle Real Application Clusters, which delivers scalability by splitting the database across all nodes in a cluster. (There are three nodes in production and 16 nodes in all).
  • Training: The technology team is now a team of specialists as opposed to a team of generalists. This approach lets the technology staff stay focused and keep current in the specialized knowledge of their respective areas – VMware, storage, Linux, databases and Windows.
  • Staffing: OARnet now has just 17 full-time employees dedicated to systems infrastructure, which equates to a savings of 42 percent compared with the staffing that would be required to maintain a shared infrastructure with a generalist staffing model.