Windows Server Migration
Premier University Cuts Time and Costs in Half
If there's any large community that is constantly migrating, upgrading and otherwise transforming its IT infrastructure, it's a major university.
If there’s any large community that is constantly migrating, upgrading and otherwise transforming its IT infrastructure, it’s a major university. King Saud University is considered to be the premier university among Arab and Islamic nations and a recent Microsoft Case Study about its recent migrations describes how it was able to halve the time it takes to deploy new labs, something they are constantly doing. At the same time, they were also able to reduce their costs by half as well!
Faced with deployment and patching tools that were difficult to use, cost too much and lacked any licensing control, Dr. Jalal Al-Muhtadi, Vice Dean for e-Transactions and Communications at King Saud University, determined that they needed to be replaced immediately. The search for a replacement was very brief.
“When we saw that Microsoft had an offering available, we thought we would like to use what’s available in the Microsoft offering,” explains Al-Muhtadi. The University makes extensive use of Microsoft products and services.
Significant Challenges in Scale
The IT support department of this Saudi Arabia-based university faced several other challenges as well. With more than 65,000 students and 22,000 faculty and staff, it supports approximately 8,000 computers for faculty and 7,000 for students. With various colleges and courses requiring new labs almost constantly, they needed to automate both the deployment of whole labs at a time, and accelerate the repair and restoration of faulty units.
According to the case study, the university’s stated goal for the deployment of System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (SCCM) was to "enable the management of all KSU client systems through the utilization of the world-class System Center 2012 Configuration Manager platform. The project will provide a flexible workstyle environment that will be intuitive and invisible to the end user and will provide a clear and consistent management strategy for the entire client estate.”
The case study quotes their team leader as saying “It gave us the ability to know what we have and manage what we know, we could find the defective machines between hundreds of PCs and redirect the support team to their locations with no need to check all PCs one by one.”
For any large organization, this case study is an excellent example of what can be accomplished with the right strategy and the right software.