University automates services to boost productivity

University automates services to boost productivity

Last year, Swinburne University in Melbourne adopted new software to help it build and manage a hybrid cloud, negating the need for time-consuming and administrative tasks for the university’s IT team and final year students.

Despite having a curriculum that focuses and relies heavily on technology, the university realised that it needed a way to streamline the use of its IT services to students in a way that allowed them to scale and automate those services.

The university turned to Nutanix, a leader in enterprise cloud computing, which provided it with a self-service portal that acts like an application store. Students can browse, choose and deploy the IT solution they need for their final year projects, including complex mobile application development programs, with a single click.

The students are also able to take advantage of other automated services, such as quickly procuring more storage when they need it. Behind the scenes, the University IT team uses Nutanix Calm to automate these processes and also migrate workloads and apps between cloud environments.

Simon Naughton, director of infrastructure and operations, Information Technology at Swinburne, said following implementation work throughout 2018, the team focused on migration of the university's on premises application set to the new infrastructure,” Naughton told The Educator.

“In 2019 the IT team will run a proof of concept with Nutanix’s Leap platform to enable our on premises infrastructure the capability to run as a hybrid cloud.”

Naughton said these initiatives are enabling the University’s IT team to focus their services towards “the vision of valued services with a customer focus”.

Jamie Humphrey, managing director Australia and New Zealand at Nutanix, said cloud technology is becoming more important for educational institutions.

“Education institutions, from K-12 through to higher-ed, have an incredible opportunity to redefine their business models from a digital perspective,” Humphrey told The Educator.

“Australian Universities are now competing globally for foreign and remote students and need the right digital services in place to satisfy them and stay ahead of the curve, particularly as they’re primarily targeting younger generations where digital transformation is not just desired, but expected.”

He added that cloud technology such as Nutanix’s enterprise cloud OS can enable this digital transformation and serve as a platform for continued innovation over time.

“We’re helping some of the region’s most prominent schools and universities realise the benefits of cloud technology, including Swinburne University, University of Canberra and Massey University in New Zealand,” Humphrey said.

Cyber security is also top of mind for universities as the value of their data and the sophistication of attacks both increase.

The most recent Threat Report from the Australian Cyber Security Centre highlighted universities as an ‘attractive’ target given their research across a range of fields and the intellectual property this research could generate.

Humphrey said Nutanix adopts a security-first approach, with powerful features including role-based access control, two-factor authentication and comprehensive application security built into its OS.

“These features are integrated into all of our education customers’ solutions across Australia. Further, the solution allows universities to keep data in country, which can help with compliance,” he said.