Private Cloud Case Study - The College Network - EarthLink Business

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EarthLink Business provided The College Network, a distance learning provider, with a customized infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solution with Cloud Hosting and Dedicated Servers, to provide backend storage in a highly scalable, replicated database cluster.

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Private Cloud Case Study - The College Network - EarthLink Business

  1. 1. CASE STUDY The College Network “ The College Network Increases Availability, Speed of Mission-Critical Systems Distance Learning Provider Cuts Capital Costs, Adds Business Continuity Plan “ - You can’t put a price on the availability of systems. That’s the value of infrastructure as a service. With EarthLink, I’m sleeping better at night. Ryan Sallee Chief Information Officer The College Network Challenges The small IT team at The College house, and found that it spent more time troubleshooting hardware issues than solving business problems. Additionally, The College Network needed a business continuity strategy to enable high availability of businesscritical systems. Solution The College Network implemented a customized Cloud Hosting and Dedicated Server solution for a highly scalable, replicated database cluster. Results • Cost savings – Virtualizing with EarthLink significantly reduced the company’s capital expenses. With just a SAN upgrade, The College Network estimates it will Business Challenges The College Network was an early pioneer in the now billion-dollar online education industry. Since 1992, the company and its partner universities have provided high-quality, accessible educational programs entirely through distance learning. A small IT team supports the company’s growing technology infrastructure, serving 200 employees in Indianapolis and Las Vegas and another 150 independent contractors nationwide. Like many companies its size, The College Network struggled with covering all IT needs. Previously, the IT team managed approximately 50 physical servers at its headquarters and another 65 in downtown Indianapolis—all connected to storage area networks (SANs). “We tried to do everything ourselves. We had to be server experts when managing the physical hardware. We really needed to get IT focused on solving business challenges, rather than managing servers,” said Ryan Sallee, chief information officer at The College Network. avoid a $200,000 to $300,000 expenditure. • Availability – The College Network built a business continuity structure to ensure systems are always on. The company has Just as critical, The College Network needed a disaster recovery plan to ensure that, when adult learners register or log on to access course materials, they could get in reliably. Before, the company experienced outages with its SAN-based infrastructure. multi-path connectivity between its Indianapolis headquarters and EarthLink’s data center. • Higher-value IT focus – The team has shifted its time from managing “With online learning, our IT environment is very important,” Sallee said. “If the systems aren’t available, then our customers don’t have access to their course materials.” servers to applying technology solutions to solve business challenges. getinfo@earthlinkbusiness.com | www.earthlinkbusiness.com The College Network Case Study 2013 © 2012-2013 EarthLink, Inc. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved. Network handled all IT needs in
  2. 2. CASE STUDY The College Network Why The College Network Selected EarthLink Business By virtualizing with EarthLink, The EarthLink Business Solution Sallee saw infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) as the way to increase reliability and take the burden of server maintenance off his team. The College Network evaluated a handful of IaaS providers, and decided to move forward with EarthLink Business. the IT team shifts its focus to higher-value activities while letting EarthLink handle servers. Additionally, the EarthLink team EarthLink provided a customized IaaS solution with Cloud Hosting and Dedicated Servers, to provide backend storage in a highly scalable, replicated database cluster. Additionally, the EarthLink solution allowed The College Network to continue using its existing ISP. took the time to truly understand direction, and continues to be there when they’re needed. From the first conversation with members of the EarthLink team, Sallee felt comfortable they had a solid understanding of his business needs. “What really made the difference was the people at EarthLink,” Sallee said. “We felt like EarthLink was a partner that could get us where we wanted to be.” “EarthLink has been top notch. I couldn’t ask for a better support staff,” Sallee said. “I don’t say that about all tech partners, though I wish I could. I have already recommended the service to others.” With EarthLink Cloud Hosting, The College Network went beyond a disaster recovery plan to build a business continuity structure. Rather than replicating and drawing on those resources, just-in-case, the company’s IT services are always on and available. The company also has multi-path connectivity between its Indianapolis headquarters and EarthLink’s data center. “Our configuration with our previous SAN was good but not the clustered, redundant environment that we have at EarthLink,” Sallee said. The College Network made the cutover on a Saturday evening. When staff came in Monday, nothing was out of the ordinary. In fact, things were faster. “They didn’t realize that the systems had moved from 20 feet away to a few hundred miles away, and it was faster,” Sallee said. “My team did an unbelievable job in planning and executing flawlessly. It was a huge win for our company.” “We have significantly upgraded our infrastructure and availability of mission-critical systems, which makes people more efficient, processes easier, data availability higher and customer satisfaction better,” Sallee said. Positioned for the Future Virtualizing with EarthLink significantly reduces the company’s capital expenses. But Sallee sees the real benefit as availability. “You can’t put a price on the availability of systems. That’s the value of infrastructure as a service. With EarthLink, I’m sleeping better at night.” Additionally, The College Network has reallocated its valuable IT manpower on activities that bring greater value to the business while the EarthLink team takes care of troubleshooting any systems issues. “Now that our team isn’t managing servers every day, we’re starting to look at business challenges and providing technology solutions to improve our processes. Instead of fixing things, we’ll be proactively contributing to the business,” he said. getinfo@earthlinkbusiness.com | www.earthlinkbusiness.com The College Network Case Study 2013 © 2012-2013 EarthLink, Inc. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved. the company’s needs and

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