As one of the top ranking private universities in India, SRM University offers a wide range of undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral programs in Engineering, Management, Medicine and Health sciences, and Science and Humanities. Granted university status in 2002 and located in Tamil Nadu, the university is part of the SRM group of educational institutions, which has partnerships with universities in the UK, USA, South Korea, New Zealand, and Switzerland
EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure:
SRM University College of Engineering prepares students for careers across a range of industries. The Department of Information Technology within the college administers 400 systems within 12 specialist laboratories that provide teaching and research facilities for studying a range of technologies, including databases, networking, visual programming, and embedded systems. In recognizing the growing industry demand for IT professionals with specialist skills and knowledge, the department wanted to offer a degree program that would enable postgraduate students to specialize in cloud computing and to introduce relevant courses to the undergraduate students in the IT program.
SRM University, an EMC academic alliance partner, provides courses on information storage and management to Bachelor of Technology (B.TECH) and Master of Technology (M.TECH) students and holds regular EMC-hosted events, workshops, seminars, and webinars on campus. S. Rajendran, Professor, Department of Information Technology, SRM University, says, “We realized there was strong global uptake of cloud computing infrastructure and services and that foreign universities were starting to offer cloud technology degree programs.” After considering solutions that would offer server consolidation and desktop virtualization from EMC, HP, and IBM, SRM University selected an EMC® VSPEX® Proven Infrastructure due to its flexibility and ease of management. “To compete effectively, we needed the right platform, and due to our strong relationship, I approached EMC to discuss establishing a cloud computing program at SRM University,” says Rajendran.
The Department of Information Technology partnered with Uniware Systems to design and deploy the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure comprising EMC VNX® unified storage, Dell servers, HP networking, and VMware® vSphere™ virtualization, which is being used as the platform to deliver the cloud computing program. The University is considering using the backup and recovery solution in the next phase.
Nirmal Kumar J P, Chief Marketing Officer, Uniware Systems, says, “VSPEX infrastructure provided the university with the opportunity to use a best-of-breed approach and select products from particular vendors that met both its performance needs and price points.”
Using the VSPEX infrastructure, the university postgraduate program in cloud computing introduces students to cloud architecture, data center virtualization, and deployment models. Students are trained on applications including Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and Pivotal Greenplum Database, and those graduating with an M.TECH in Cloud Computing are equipped to become industry practitioners with highly sought-after specialist skills. The university is expecting a maximum of 40 students to join the cloud computing program in the upcoming academic year.
The department also utilizes Openstack to carry out cloud-based projects related to cloud security and big data analytics. In different laboratory sessions students are also exposed to Open Virtualization Format so they can learn how different hypervisors can communicate with each other.
“Within our laboratory environment running VSPEX, students are exposed to a range of technologies to create virtual servers and develop applications that run in a cloud environment. With the VSPEX infrastructure, we can deliver the needed skills and expertise to students to enhance their career prospects as cloud technology professionals,” says Rajendran.
The IT department has already virtualized 60 percent of its laboratories due to the quick deployment of the VSPEX architecture and its simplified management. Compared to the five system administrators the University required previously, only one system administrator is now responsible for maintenance of the infrastructure.
With the VSPEX infrastructure, we can deliver the needed skills and expertise to students to enhance their career prospects as cloud technology professionals.
Rajendran says, “We selected VSPEX due to the flexibility the solution gives us in the choice of technologies, and the performance delivered through using best-in-class providers. We also gained the advantage of having a complete solution that was tested and validated and installed in two days which worked seamlessly with our existing systems.”
The IT department has used VSPEX to deploy virtual desktops within its laboratories to centrally manage applications and end user data, and has achieved a dramatic reduction in the cost of operations. The department was spending INR 35 to 40 Lakhs (U.S. $64,672) on desktop maintenance and new equipment, and around INR 15 Lakhs (U.S. $24,252) on system maintenance.
“Our capital expenditure has been reduced by 30 percent because we no longer have to replace the desktops in the labs every three years and buy new systems,” says Rajendran
With a private cloud infrastructure deployed to improve the flexibility of resources and utilization of systems across the laboratories, the department can scale and more efficiently manage the growth in data generated by students. VNX unified storage has also become an effective training tool for students.
Rajendran says, “We chose VNX due to the fast response times for storing and retrieving large amounts of data generated by students as they fulfill the requirements of the cloud computing program. We are also using the architecture as an effective platform on which to train students on storage administration.”
VSPEX has reduced system administration time due to the university being able to centrally manage the virtual machines and desktops.
Rajendran says, “In a university, desktop maintenance is a real headache because we can’t control how and where students store data. Due to automation and remote management of the VSPEX infrastructure, we’ve saved nearly 80 percent of our time, and we’ve been able to redirect this effort into increasing automation in order to improve efficiency in managing resources within the school.”
Due to the results achieved, the Department of Information Technology has plans to virtualize its remaining laboratories and expand the private cloud infrastructure on VSPEX across the university. “EMC has supported us to implement the cloud computing program and train our faculty members. With this knowledge and ongoing partnership with EMC, we plan to virtualize all of the university’s laboratories within the next three years,” concludes Rajendran.
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EMC2, EMC, the EMC logo, VNX, and VSPEX are registered trademarks or trademarks of EMC Corporation in the United States and other countries. VMware and vSphere are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc., in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners. © Copyright 2014 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved. Published in the USA. 03/14. Customer Profile H12893
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