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Singapore Polytechnic modernises data centre to improve teaching environment

Jack Loo | Nov. 29, 2012
The school employs Citrix systems to allow students anytime and anywhere access to education resources.

Another Citrix component brought into the SPE3C3 was the XenServer that helped consolidate the data centre's server workload to support the simultaneous startup and shutdown of a large number of computers in a short time.

This is something that happens up to five or six times a day, at the start and end of each class for the EEE school.

The result is that the data centre is "able to do a simultaneous startup/shutdown of up to 240 full Virtual Machines (VM) within 10 minutes - a first in the industry", said Chew. According to Chew, this achievement has never been implemented before in the education sector.

Another benefit was the return on investment reaped through the reduced reliance on hardware. Rather than purchasing 60 to 70 computers for individual laboratory use at the end of each lifecycle, the EEE school is able to save up to about US$65,000 a year by using virtualised computers in the cloud environment.

Further developments

In April this year, Citrix worked with the EEE school to set up two new modules, Data Centre Management and System Virtualization. These two new courses are designed to educate and train students to set up, manage and support data centres and data recovery, and employ virtualisation techniques. And with SPE3C3, the students are able to practise their skills.

The EEE school is also looking to extend its relationship with Citrix. The IT team at EEE is looking at implementing Citrix XenApp, which can help save time and effort by providing virtual application delivery across the cloud. The centralised management allows the IT team to upload new upgrade patches and educational applications on a single interface, before seamlessly delivering the applications via XenApp to all virtual machines under its control.

EEE plans to explore the option of enhancing the SPE3C3 with Citrix CloudStack, an open source software platform that helps build highly scalable and reliable cloud computing environments. The school is also looking at adopting Citrix XenDesktop as one of the applications delivered through its cloud, offering its students and faculty centralised virtual desktops to enhance mobile learning.

"Citrix has been instrumental in helping us customise the SPE3C3 to fit our specific needs, expanding the availability of our applications, improving our IT management, and helping our students and staff achieve a competitive advantage in the cloud era," concluded Chew.


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