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A Lesson Learned

How Boston University is making the most of its IBM zSeries and TotalStorage environment


Way back when I was in college (in a galaxy far, far away), computers and most things related to them were something of an oddity, especially for a liberal arts major such as myself. We didn't use e-mail, the Internet was still a green-screen mystery and I did all of my class research in a library, using-if can you believe it-an alphabetized card catalog.

 

Things have changed quite a bit since then (even though this was less than two decades ago), and such things as e-mail and online research are the norm, making pertinent communications and information gathering a snap. Of course, with these blessings also come some overhead, not the least of which are increased needs for both computing power and data storage, especially as colleges and universities continue to encourage faculty, staff and students to take advantage of the online environment.

The challenge becomes finding the right combination of reliable hardware and software to lessen the burden on the IT staffs of institutions of higher education. If not, they risk possible meltdowns and mounds of overtime, with IT personnel working late into the night to put out fires and get everything back online in time for peak computing periods.

One organization that has largely met these standards is the Boston University Administrative Computing Services (ACS) datacenter. Using an IBM* eServer zSeries* server, IBM TotalStorage* solutions and applications such as FDR/UPSTREAM from Innovation Data Processing, it has created a rock-solid IT environment that allows it to easily meet its user's needs, letting the aforementioned faculty, staff and students conduct much of their university-related business online and with confidence.

 

"It's a highly reliable disk storage unit that's simply just there. It's never down, and if it hiccups, a service technician shows up with a part and we schedule dynamic installation." -Gerard Shockley, assistant director of technical services, Boston University

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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