Apr 04 2022

4 Considerations for Managing the AWS Cloud Platform in Higher Ed

Amazon Web Services provides managed services and more to ease university deployment of cloud resources.

Deploying cost-effective, reliable infrastructure is a must in higher education, which is why many higher education institutions leverage Amazon Web Services. Cloud resources are essential for serving web pages and juggling terabytes of user data. What should IT departments consider before hopping aboard?

1. Accurately Measure Your Budget for Cloud Services

AWS resources operate continuously. It’s necessary to assess pricing for solutions before committing. AWS provides cost tables, which are tabulated per second, per minute or per month.

Storage, computing and database resources traditionally can be expensive. However, universities can sidestep heavy input costs with AWS. Teams can calculate their running costs with the AWS Pricing Calculator. They may also tailor service plans to meet university spending goals. AWS offers pay-as-you-go options, reserved capacities and volume discounts.

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2. Ensure Robust Cloud Monitoring and Security

Visibility into one’s AWS infrastructure is essential. Amazon and partners offer tools that compile real-time analytics, such as Amazon CloudWatch and CDW Amplified™ Services. Higher education institutions oversee highly sensitive data from numerous sources.

AWS solutions are scalable without compromising security. After establishing monitoring based on determined goals, teams may see how active certain services are. Is uptime universally steady? Is activity normal, or does it indicate something nefarious, like a distributed denial of service attack or a hack?

It’s also important to monitor active ports, root access and password integrity, and to establish role-based access control to bolster AWS security.

RELATED: Keep an eye on these cloud security trends in 2022.

3. Establish Thresholds for Alerts on Cloud Services

AWS performance will fluctuate as services operate. CPU percentages, memory consumption and utilization can change in minutes. Consider how enrollment schedules and academic calendars impact web traffic. It’s crucial to know other systems can effectively pass similar stress tests.

All IT teams should establish threshold-based alerting. When instances and resources become taxed, rapid reallocation may be necessary. Universities can’t allow crashes or poor performance to impact users. AWS allows teams to extinguish fires.

LEARN MORE: A multicloud strategy that makes sense for higher education.

4. AWS Offers Tools to Support Remote Learning

Cloud infrastructure also provides easy access to shared resources throughout the university, ensuring the continuity of teaching, learning and remote work. Through tools like Amazon AppStream 2.0 and Amazon Workspaces, students can access the apps and software they need from wherever they are. AWS also works with universities on solutions that employ voice technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning to support innovative learning models.

EXPLORE: How and why to establish a cloud center of excellence.

Illustration by Giada Canu/Stocksy

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