Cloud // Cloud Storage
News
6/20/2011
08:16 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Indiana University's 'Personal Clouds' Address Massive Virtualization Challenges

Citrix selected over VMware for university's 18-month IUAnyWare project to convert its 100,000 end users at eight campuses to using virtualized applications with aim of saving money and delivering better services.

Virtualization of end users en masse, a problem that has resisted solution in many places, is being accomplished at Indiana University with a two-pronged approach. The eight-campus system expects to see 100,000 end users converted to virtualized applications by fall 2012.

Some tentative attempts had previously been underway on a department-by-department basis. Central IT had to step in with a system-wide solution, said Sue Workman, associate VP of support, thereby upending projects that used different choices in vendor and approach.

In doing so, the IT staff borrowed lessons from Apple's approach to--and terminology for--consumers. It called its virtualization initiative "a personal cloud" and dubbed it IUAnyWare. Its centralized approach had to embrace delivering application services to many different devices and locations and plan for end users being frequently on the move.

"This will accomplish one of our strategic goals, to supply abundant resources to our faculty and students," said Workman in an interview. By knowing what application software is being used in what quantity, the state system is more likely to be able to keep it available, keep it upgraded, and acquire it at lower prices than individual colleges and departments could do on their own, she said.

It's not surprising that Indiana University is plunging into end-user virtualization on a large scale. The school is already known as an IT experimenter and an early adopter of server virtualization. In October 2009 it announced that it had virtualized what had been 1,000 physical servers down to 77 virtualized hosts, yielding a 13-1 consolidation ratio. Workman said the IT staff concluded additional gains would come from a centralized approach to end-user virtualization.

Its principal vendor for server consolidation was VMware, and some colleges and departments went ahead and adopted VMware for their initial end-user virtualization attempts. While the school of dentistry chose Citrix, the school of medicine, for example, was proceeding with VMware.

"That approach doesn't scale," said Workman. "We had a prototype environment set up for our assessment," and IT tested the VMware and Citrix alternatives. Citrix was chosen as the system-wide partner.

On June 10, the central IT staff in Bloomington launched its initial conversion and will eventually provide 240 virtualized applications to end users in an Advanced Center for Manufacturing Excellence, a lab that it shares with Purdue and Ivy Tech in Columbus, Ind. (Columbus is the home of Cummins Engine manufacturing.) In a training environment, a few applications running on Citrix XenApp servers with a Citrix Netscaler front end can serve thousands of remote end users at a time.

In general, Workman and her staff have found that standard Windows applications, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, along with Microsoft SharePoint file storage, satisfy 85% of the end users they must serve, with some specialized graphics and statistical analysis packages, such as SPSS, thrown in for good measure.

On the other hand, the medical and dental schools, fields of specialized research, administrator functions, and other niche users all had non-standard software requirements. In other words, the one-size-fits-all approach in the training lab will not work throughout all university settings.

IT's response has been to produce tailored virtualized desktops, each with its own operating system and application set, as needed by specialized users. The desktop still resides on centralized IT servers, like the first group's applications, but they offer more direct processing power, application selection, and customized features. These desktops require four times the storage and CPU per user than the first group, Workman estimates.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
ADEL REAL000
50%
50%
ADEL REAL000,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/13/2011 | 9:48:16 PM
re: Indiana University's 'Personal Clouds' Address Massive Virtualization Challenges
The term, concept and technology of the GǣPersonal CloudGǥ, was introduced by GoToYourSite.com back in 2008 when developing the GoToYourSite/Edu- G Educational ProgramG, which delivers a GTYS- Personal CloudG for each user (Faculty, Student or Staff).

The GoToYourSite/Edu- G Educational ProgramG, presented to the White House and approved in compliance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) standards by the Department of the Treasury, is an Economic Stimulus Program that through the deployment of the GoToYourSite/Edu- G Educational GroupG (comprised by all GTYS- Personal CloudG[s]), and the GoToYourSite/Edu- G EcosystemG, the program generates Annual Funding for the Educational Institution.

Since 2009, GoToYourSite.com was trying to enroll Indiana University into the GoToYourSite/Edu- G Educational ProgramG. As part of this process, GoToYourSite.com presented the program and GTYS- Personal CloudG solution to IUGs President, CIO and others. IU learned the term, concept, technology and benefits of deploying a Personal Cloud solution from GoToYourSite.com. Part of the documentation presented, includes a letter dated April 16, 2010 to IUGs President, in which GoToYourSite.com estimates Annual Funding by the program, for IU, in the range of $16,234,162 for a deployment including 101,681 GTYS- Personal CloudG[s], one for each student.

In parallel to this, and since 2008, GoToYourSite.com was in talks with Citrix, to include them as investors/partners behind GoToYourSite.com and the GoToYourSite/Edu- G Educational ProgramG. As part of this process, GoToYourSite.com presented the program to CitrixGs officials. Citrix Systems learned the term, concept, technology and benefits of deploying a Personal Cloud solution from GoToYourSite.com. Citrix Systems used GoToYourSite.comGs knowledge to derive new products, included but not limited to Receiver for Web (including a Web File Manager) and Cloud Gateway.

On June 7 2011, approximately three years since GoToYourSite.com introduced the GǣPersonal CloudGǥ, Indiana University and Citrix Systems announced a partnership agreement on the IUAnyWare project (which copies from the GoToYourSite/Edu- G Educational ProgramG), to deploy a Personal Cloud solution (which copies the GTYS- Personal CloudG).

Neither Citrix nor IU are visionaries nor innovators with the Personal Cloud.
Google in the Enterprise Survey
Google in the Enterprise Survey
There's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.