Keeping ahead of curriculum needs amid super-accelerated technological change has kept UC squeezing more value out of every IT dollar spent.
Snuggled in Australia’s capital, the University of Canberra (UC) has more than 15,500 students, academics, researchers, and professional staff.
The university has significantly increased its capacity for GPU-enabled computing resources to power the recent addition of courses in Robotics, AI, and Data Science at undergraduate and higher levels. Faculty, such as those working in the Visual and Decision Analytics Lab (VIDEA) and the Australian Geospatial Health Lab (AGeoH-L) can have sufficient computing power to meet cutting-edge research needs.
Yet, the incremental investments in its multi-cloud back-end have been seen as ways to optimize cloud computing expenses and avert what could have been less-productive expenditure.
According to UC’s CIO, Matt Carmichael, CIO, the latest upgrade have also included a cost governance tool that showed immediate impact. “We have a small IT team, and the tool gives us a single pane of glass to monitor our usage, automatically alerting us to any ‘gotchas’ where spend might tick up and we don’t know why. One instance was when our backups in Google Cloud weren’t being aged out appropriately, increasing our bills exponentially.”
Other benefits of continual upgrades
Carmichael also cited upfront financial savings of around A$2m and ongoing savings in operational costs and energy usage when implementing UC’s private cloud to replace an earlier disaster recovery (DR) data center with a micro data centre. “This meant when we needed a new DR facility, it only required three racks of space, instead of the existing 24.”
Earlier, as existing infrastructure was reaching the end of its lifecycle, workloads previously running on three-tier architecture had been migrated, including the key student management, finance, human resources, and database systems. “Today, more than 90% of UC’s core applications run on a Nutanix cloud platform. As we migrated more workloads (we saw) massive consolidation in the IT hardware we needed (shrinking in our data center footprint requirements) almost immediately. It was also much easier to manage and support, particularly with seamless one-click upgrades. Previously, our traditional infrastructure meant we had all these different hoops you had to jump through.”
This has meant that UC has been able to “consolidate the server and storage assets we need by 78% which led to an additional projected saving of more than A$1.5m as we didn’t have to purchase all that new equipment.”
According to Aaron White, General Manager and Vice President, Nutanix (APJ): “The next generation of innovators and world-changers are studying right now at University of Canberra. We’re only just beginning to understand the full potential of AI, and it’s the hands-on research underway in our nation’s capital that will shape the future of our nation.”