Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Cloud and virtual computing

Expertise and experience in cloud and virtual computing will become essential for effectively allocating technology resources . Knowledgeable staff will have to determine the right mix of local, regional, national, and in ternational computing and communications resources. Once cloud technology matures, l ocal hardware would ideally never fall below 80% utilization . Instead, hardware should be purchased from the cloud to accommodate the cyclical times when spikes in use req uire additional resources . Some of those resources could be acquired from collaborative partners using the same hardware. Eventually , some computing resources might best be acquired exclusively from the cloud (such as student Gmail is today at URI ). All cloud computing solutions will require security as well as integration with campus and other cloud - based computing resources. For example, most cloud offerings will require some form of authentication to ensure users are legitimate and have access to the appropriate information and applications. In other cases, different cloud - based systems may have to communicate with each other or with the URI student, financial, or HR/Payroll databases. Integrating these requirements should not be overlooked as an ess ential part of cloud computing. The local cloud would include virtual servers ( and eventually even desktops ) that are much more cost effective than individual physical servers spread throughout the campus. It is already more effective to provide most campus servers in a centralized data center that is secure, power efficient, supported close to 24x7, with emergency battery ba ckup and generators than haphazardly locating them throughout campus. In addition, in a virtual server environment, the necessary CPU , memory, and disk storage can be purchased and provided dynamically, as needed much more cost effectively than local purc hases in which the institutional investment in CPU , disk, and memory cannot be shared when they are not being used. Better yet, fewer system administrators are needed to administer virtual servers (especially security patches) and they can be deployed with in hours instead of days and weeks to purchase, receive, and install physical servers. Finally, centralized servers can be part of the data center backup , security, and archive procedures, ensuring the integrity and safety of data stored on URI servers