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Creating a Community

How Palm Beach Community College learned that consolidation and virtualization can result in more than just ease of administration and lower overhead costs.




"We continue to look for new opportunities to leverage the System z890 platform whenever we can," remarks Parziale. This includes moving its distance-learning application and help-desk system to Linux on the System z platform. Parziale is also working with IBM to move its Microsoft* Exchange-type applications to the z890 while retaining the Outlook presentation on the client. "We're not afraid of attempting anything at this point," he says.

 

This includes using its new virtualized-storage environment to image many of its paper-based documents. This will allow the school to not only safeguard, for example, student records - which, given its hurricane-prone location, is a necessity, as Hurricane Katrina proved - but also make them available online, no matter where a student might be. And as documents are imaged, the paper copy will be destroyed, freeing up valuable floor space and negating the need for the purchase of more filing cabinets.

Something to Be Proud Of
Although Palm Beach Community College had sound reasons for wanting to consolidate its IT environment (a process that took four or five months to complete, including a month of installation and testing), it has since discovered that consolidation provides benefits beyond easing administrative overhead and reducing hard costs, such as on new servers and storage. It also realized that a combination of consolidation and virtualization can create many new opportunities organizations such as it hadn't considered before, including efforts such as the school's portal and imaging initiatives.

Referring to the student portal, Parziale sums it up by saying, "We're able to personalize the online college experience for our users so they can appreciate the entire learning process. And we're proud of that. After all, that's what we're here for. It's not all about the technology and saving money and time, but enhancing everything Palm Beach Community College has to offer."

Up Close

CUSTOMER: Palm Beach Community College
HEADQUARTERS: Lake Worth, Fla.
BUSINESS: Higher education
HARDWARE: An IBM Systems z z890, two IBM BladeCenter servers, an IBM System Storage DS6800 storage device and an IBM System Storage 3583 Ultrium Scalable Tape Library
SOFTWARE: IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC), Software AG Adabas database-management system, Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM)
CHALLENGE: Consolidating and virtualizing its IT environment
SOLUTION: Running several Linux partitions on the z890, consolidating many Windows technology-based servers to the BladeCenter servers and using IBM's SVC to virtualize its storage environment

 

 

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at jjutsler@provide.net.



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Creating a Community

How Palm Beach Community College learned that consolidation and virtualization can result in more than just ease of administration and lower overhead costs.

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