Marian College's IT infrastructure is undergoing a metamorphosis as the private liberal arts college undergoes its own transformation -- into a university. Enrollment increases of 30% during the past three years had tapped out storage capacity, and as business needs changed IT couldn't accommodate new requests quickly with its fixed, physical computing infrastructure. When the IT department began to explore options for a storage area network (SAN), it became apparent that a private cloud could meet new storage demands and more.
So starting two years ago, the IT department, working with an advisory council of local IT experts, laid out more than a dozen objectives it needed to achieve in the 36 months to support student growth and increased mobility, add disaster recovery and replace antiquated systems.
The objectives were a tall order with a limited budget:
- Acquire, configure, test and place into production a new SAN.
- Design, acquire, configure and test new servers to augment/replace servers.
- Acquire, configure, test and place into production faster/more capable firewalls.
- Find a new and appropriate location for the server farm and network operations center (NOC).
- Build a redundant server farm and NOC location that scales off-campus.
- Build a hot site to provide full business continuity.
- Lower capital costs.
- Enable a faster recovery time objective and greater recovery point objective.
- Remove proprietary hardware.
- Leverage virtualization.
- Become licensing proficient.
- Lower complexity.
The new infrastructure would need to quickly accommodate IT requests, such as a request for a print server that would give the 2,200 students and more than 100 full- and part-time faculty members the ability to print from dozens of locations across the campus.