When colleges and universities turn to virtualization, they can present their increased IT efficiency as a selling point to students. But what are the tangible benefits to the institutions themselves?
Germany’s Jacobs University reports that virtualization cut annual server maintenance costs by 50% as well as reducing power and cooling costs.
The private university, which saw enrollment rise rapidly in the last decade, had built a mixed infrastructure to keep up with demand.
And though the environment was adequate for the school’s needs, it lacked standardization.
“Our backup system needed too much maintenance time, and some systems were no longer fit for this purpose. With a small IT team – seven people serving almost 2,000 end users – we needed an environment that was easier to manage,” Torge Schmidt, the university’s chief technology officer, said.
Jacobs University’s switch to a virtualized environment allowed it to replace an unwieldy and sometimes unreliable backup system. As a result, the IT team no longer has to work night shifts to perform maintenance and the university doesn’t have to pay for service plans for 30 servers.
In addition, the university reported that server deployment time fell from six weeks to just a couple of hours, and the system’s increased uptime proved popular with students and staff.
“It’s good to know that the refresh has improved their experiences. And the fact that we have much less unplanned downtime also removes an element of worry on our side,” Schmidt said.
Once colleges calculate the benefits of increased IT efficiency, they’ll learn that the investment in virtualization will be worth making the change.