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A Lesson in Cloud Migration: How a Leading University Lowered Costs & Improved Analytics with Infrastructure Modernization

Today’s colleges and universities are looking at ways to rise to the head of the class. Whether seeking increased scalability, cost savings, or a myriad of other valuable benefits, the cloud is the best course of action to take. And with an important focus on green infrastructure, migrating legacy data centers to the cloud can be a great way to achieve sustainability goals. However, as higher education learning environments continue to evolve, one thing is certain — physical architecture and workloads don’t go away overnight.

Lowered Costs & Improved Analytics with Infrastructure Modernization

Higher Education in the Cloud

Universities spent years creating on-premise processes and applications to support learning platforms within their datacenters. But as the future of education has reshaped, so have its IT needs. Legacy datacenters can no longer support today’s requirements, and the past two years have only accelerated the cloud trend.

From the University of Missouri expanding its student data analytics to UCLA’s API project, institutions have turned to the public cloud to dig deeper into digital efforts during the pandemic. As universities launch and further develop cloud computing courses in an attempt to keep pace with talent demand in the field, many of them have adopted cloud solutions for their own computing infrastructure. 

Trending Upward

Higher education institutions chose cloud solutions for their human capital and financial management systems more than twice as often in 2020 vs 2019, EdScoop reported. Among the colleges and universities that made decisions on their tech infrastructure in 2020, over 90% went with the cloud.

Additionally, a recent survey of 650 higher education decision-makers, announced in May 2021, found that 96% of senior leaders acknowledged the value of the cloud in responding to pandemic-era institutional requirements. More than 60% said they would increase their cloud adoption following the onset of the pandemic, with the cloud benefiting online instruction, student services, and enrollment and admissions management the most.

Making the Move

When choosing to take on an infrastructure modernization project, the process can be overwhelming. Cost considerations or lingering questions about infrastructure, compliance concerns, or viability often stand in the way. Even so, the path ahead doesn’t have to be so daunting — particularly when you take the journey with a trusted cloud migration specialist. 

A Real-World Example

Maven Wave recently worked on a particularly successful legacy datacenter migration journey with a notable private university. Read on for details on the process of this collegiate datacenter migration to the cloud.

The Challenge: 30 Years Worth of Physical Infrastructure with Costly Management

In 2019, a well-established, longstanding private university on the east coast reached out to talk through its options for migrating its legacy architecture to the cloud. As a leading academic and research organization, the university prided itself on offering a unique educational experience focused on helping students become leaders, changemakers, and responsible global citizens. But rather than running their operations backed by the latest cutting-edge tech that’s already been embraced by some of the world’s best universities, the school was stuck in legacy IT systems.

Faced with an onerous colocation lease and aging architecture, the university needed an efficient and scalable platform. The organization had built up 30 years’ worth of physical infrastructure and legacy application architectures that were costly and challenging to manage. Plus, with data in this legacy infrastructure, the university was unable to run effective analytics programs.

The Solution: A Cost-Effective Google Cloud Migration

Google Cloud provides a cost-effective alternative to on-premises datacenters that supports the growing analytical demands of the IT department’s user community. Maven Wave helped the university successfully migrate critical IT systems to Google Cloud. By conducting application interviews, technical assessments, and environment scans, the Maven Wave team planned the migration of over 100 applications in a six-month window with no impact to end-users — all while working around blackout dates driven by the university calendar.

The Final Results

The university is now able to avoid CAPEX investments by moving a majority of its server footprint out of the datacenter. The simplified enterprise environment and cloud platform frees up budget and positions the university’s data to be used for key analytics initiatives and business functionality initiatives. Google Cloud also provides greater flexibility and scalability and offers an automatic replacement cycle.

For more information on how Maven Wave can assist with your datacenter migration journey, visit our Infrastructure services page or contact us. 

March 31st, 2022

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