From July 2011, the National Institute of Education (NIE) will have a fully implemented private cloud that can be accessed by up to 200 researchers, said Tan Hoon Chiang, Chief Information Officer of NIE.
“The idea of creating a private cloud started a year ago, when NIE faced operational challenges in short turn-around time required by researchers in deploying server infrastructure,” explained Tan to FutureGov Asia Pacific. “As most research projects require servers for a short timeframe of about one year, this has resulted in a server sprawl after some time. By setting up a self-service environment with automated provisioning capability, NIE can resolve these challenges faced by the dynamic research community in NIE.”
Come July, researchers waiting time for approvals and resource access will be cut from “several weeks” to just one to two days.
This private cloud built by VMware for research projects will also lay the foundations for NIE in moving towards providing IT-as-a-Service, shared Tan. NIE has plans to migrate its entire datacentre environment—including the remaining components of its Oracle and Microsoft systems and its suite of student administration applications—to a private cloud by 2014.
In the next five years, NIE will see more services hosted on the cloud.
Tan said: “NIE wants to bring all IT services that it delivers to the cloud environment. This includes critical applications, development platforms, business continuity and even creating a mobile learning and workspace environment for NIE.”
In order to build NIE’s private cloud, its resources needed to be migrated to a virtualised infrastructure—a foundation upon which cloud computing architectures will be built on, explained Ed Lenta, General Manager, Southeast Asia, VMware.
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