Mar 15 2012

5 Takeaways from the “Inside the IlliniCloud” Webinar

Technology leaders from education and industry offer insights into the progress of the nonprofit community cloud consortium.

Saving Illinois schools up to 50 percent on annual infrastructure costs is at the heart of the IlliniCloud, a nonprofit consortium of 150 districts spearheaded by Bloomington Public Schools, District 87.

The ongoing progress of the IlliniCloud was the subject of "Inside the IlliniCloud," a webinar held March 7 and sponsored by CDW•G and CommVault Systems.

Participants were Jim Peterson and Jason Radford, Bloomington Public Schools' director of technology and systems administrator, respectively; Dan Vargas, lead solutions architect, CDW•G; and Don Foster, director of data protection products, CommVault.

Here are five takeaways from the webinar:

  • The IlliniCloud was born of necessity. School districts statewide lack the funds to deliver reliable computing infrastructure, so pooling resources simply made sense. The project is a safe haven for school districts in need of computing resources at a time of budgetary crisis.
  • Think of this project as a community cloud. The IlliniCloud is neither a public nor private cloud. It is more of a hybrid, but both Peterson and Radford like to describe it as a community cloud supported by the consortium.
  • The service is open to all. Through economies of scale, the IlliniCloud delivers the latest computing, storage and networking resources to all districts, many of which would not otherwise have access to high-performance computing.
  • Pooling resources on IT lets schools reinvest in the classroom. By joining forces and spending less on commodity IT, school districts can reapply IT resources where it counts: in the classroom.
  • This shared-computing model positions IT as an enabler. Especially as it adds services such as applications for one-to-one computing, cloud storage and mobile VDI, the IlliniCloud will deliver important computing services at a lower cost.

Read more on the IlliniCloud at and check out the case study and video at

Jim Peterson

"Cloud computing creates a model of computing where districts do not rely on large capital expenditures, but rather, small operating expenditures."

— Jim Peterson, Director of Technology, Bloomington Public Schools, District 87

PHOTO: Callie Lipkin

Jason Radford

"For disaster recovery, we offer virtual machine replication to the cloud, physical server copies hosted in the cloud, backup storage and data archival and recovery."

— Jason Radford, Systems Administrator, Bloomington Public Schools, District 87

PHOTO: Callie Lipkin

Dan Vargas

"The cost of maintaining aging onsite IT infrastructure is a tremendous expense for school districts. IT professionals are challenged to find ways to delay or reduce spending, while still meeting the needs and growing technology expectations of students, parents and teachers."

— Dan Vargas, Lead Solutions Architect, CDW•G


"Whether it's one school or thousands of schools, the IlliniCloud can deliver access to data and have it be secure, all driven from one platform."

— Don Foster, Director of Data Protection Products, CommVault Systems

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