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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.


 

Most often, the primary reasons for undertaking a consolidation effort are related to the bottom line: increased ease of management and administration, and reduced costs and datacenter space. After all, dealing with multiple stand-alone servers can be a chore, with their varying OSs and applications, direct-attached storage and expensive software-licensing schemes.

Given all that, it's really not surprising that more organizations are turning toward consolidation to ease their IT woes. But in the frenzy to do so, they may be overlooking other benefits that can arise from their efforts. For example, consolidation allows organizations to more closely integrate their systems to offer better services, such as portal access to personal information.

So as organizations begin considering or even implementing consolidation efforts, they should reflect on what real-world benefits can be gained.

As Palm Beach Community College recently learned, consolidation isn't so much about the nuts and bolts of a technological deployment, but how that deployment is going to benefit end users.

Tony Parziale, CIO of Palm Beach Community College, notes, "We have five locations scattered about the county. By consolidating student records on compatible systems, the students can access their data - such as financial-aid or transcript information - from any of these locations. In the past, we would have had to print out the information and fax it to the other campuses."

In the case of Palm Beach Community College, the value of technological consolidation and virtualization came in the form of a tightly integrated mix of a new IBM* System z* 890, two IBM BladeCenter* systems, an IBM System Storage* DS6800 device and IBM virtualization technologies, such as the IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC). And so far, this newly revamped consolidation and virtualization effort has received nothing but straight A's.

 

"It's not all about the technology and saving money and time, but enhancing everything Palm Beach Community College has to offer." -Tony Parziale, CIO, Palm Beach Community College

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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