IT Management and Support
IT: Deploying virtual servers
Problem: Meeting the demand for servers to support the huge growth in IT services in a 30 year old machine room where power and cooling were at their limit. Several years ago, Information Technology reached the point where we could only install a new server in the machine room if we removed one.
Change: The solution was server virtualization, which creates the environment where multiple virtual servers can operate effectively on a single physical server. Using this technology, Information Technology now operates 210 virtual servers on 38 physical machines.
Impact: Two obvious, but hard to quantify, savings include electricity and cooling. Other benefits include faster deployment of servers, easier recovery from a server failure, and greater service redundancy. Cost avoidance for not purchasing over 200 physical machines is well over $500,000. Given that the existing machine room is at capacity, there is no doubt William & Mary would have had to forgo some IT services without virtualization.
IT: Replace aging technologies
Problem: Technology is constantly changing thereby making some existing IT services obsolete while increasing demand on IT for implementing new technologies. Doing away or replacing obsolete technologies has allowed IT to implement new and improved services as well as meet required budget cuts.
(A) Removed all in-room residence hall student land lines and made phone service optional.
Impact: Over the past several years students have moved almost exclusively to using cellular phones for voice communication. IT has removed over 2000 phones from residence halls which has simultaneously increased capacity on the existing system while decreasing required maintenance. Without this change, we would not have had the capacity to support the new School of Business or School of Education buildings. Additionally, removing these phones significantly reduced the startup costs of the College’s new phone system.
(B) With the implementation of College’s ERP system (Banner) complete, we were able to phase out use of the legacy mainframe.
Impact: Annual savings of $500,000 in maintenance costs.
(C) Renegotiated the College’s bulk cable TV contract and eliminated the College Movie Channel.
Impact: With many alternative media services available via the Internet, we were able to reduce these services with little or no impact to students at an annual savings of $75,000.
(D) Moving to Microsoft Exchange email and calendaring solution for faculty/staff. Exchange replaces two separate IT services with one integrated service considered to be the industry standard.
Impact: Simplifies support and allows standardized scheduling to be implemented across the entire university including those graduate schools with exiting systems. This allowed us to achieve savings in calendar licensing from Oracle at $7,000 per annum. Since we already own the licensing for exchange we avoided additional email licensing costs to another vendor.
(E) Distribute desktop software via the network rather than by CD or DVD. This distribution method created an immediate on-demand service for faculty, staff and students to acquire software without visiting the Technology Support Center or waiting on IT staff to complete desk side visits.
Impact: Improves licensing accountability and security.
Total Impact: Increased service at an annual saving of over $582,000 per year.