University at Albany – SUNY: A New Foundation for Enriched Learning Experiences



The University at Albany (UAlbany) – State University of New York (SUNY) is the oldest university campus in the SUNY system, serving more than 17,000 students. As part of its commitment to offering faculty and students an unmatched environment for teaching and learning, the university seeks out technology that advances richer learning experiences, excellence in teaching, and distinguished research programs.


The Challenge: Enhancing service and performance


To support continuous learning and keep university business moving, high availability and consistent application performance are essential. The university’s many research projects and files must be available always, and critical systems have to be responsive.


Service quality is most visible as it relates to the university’s many critical systems, including:


  • Blackboard Learn learning management system.
  • Oracle Business Intelligence.
  • Oracle PeopleSoft ERP system and Liferay Portal
  • Perceptive Nolij document imaging
  • OnSSI video surveillance.


The Solution: A redundant and resilient infrastructure


To further its goal of becoming a cloud service provider, UAlbany built a new data center to centralize distributed campus IT. The university chose a FlexPod® reference architecture, which includes components from NetApp and Cisco. The integrated infrastructure and clustered storage provide full redundancy.


“NetApp and the clustered Data ONTAP operating system with secure multi-tenancy align perfectly with our goal of becoming a provider of private cloud services,” says Eric Dombroski, systems administrator at the university. “We communicate regularly with NetApp, and the relationship has been excellent.”


Business Benefits: Improving user experiences


As UAlbany moves away from distributed IT and adopts a centralized IT model built on a private cloud, it is providing university departments with higher quality services at a lower cost. For faculty, administrators, and students, this translates into happier and more productive end users because applications are more responsive.



Responding twice as fast



With the cloud services, the EIS team can respond twice as fast to departmental requests for virtual machines, storage, or new applications.


Leading the way for other campuses



Eventually, the university’s private cloud will host shared services and other initiatives for multiple SUNY campuses and potentially state government agencies. UAlbany will help them improve service quality while reducing costs and risk. In the near future, Empire State College plans to move critical services into UAlbany’s private cloud, and Hudson Valley Community College will use it as a disk-to-disk backup site.


View the full customer story here.


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