Navi Site Managed Cloud Services Case Study Connect Edu
CASE STUDY ConnectEDU Delivers Web-Based Services with NaviSite Managed Cloud Services (MCS)Benefits BACKGROUND• Reduce overall costs by more than 30% Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, ConnectEDU helps 2.5 million high school and college• Eliminate traditional hard- students manage their education and career paths. Founded in 2002, ConnectEDU offers web-based ware/software costs with tools that use real-time academic performance data – and access to a network of guidance counsel- usage-based billing ors, career advisors, student loan ofﬁcers, admissions ofﬁcers, and potential employers – to guide students through a personalized set of college and career options.• Cut deployment times from 3 months to 3 weeks for new services• Adjust CPU & RAM THE CHALLENGE resources per machine, ConnectEDU has been experiencing rapid growth over the past few years, and needed a ﬂexible, on-demand, to speed cost-effective and efﬁcient IT infrastructure that could accommodate seasonal demand spikes for performance-related tasks its applications and web-based tools , as well as a technology foundation for longer term customer• Provide an ideal test growth. ConnectEDU has been a NaviSite customer for more than three years – using its man- environment for high- aged hosting and database administration services. When NaviSite announced its Managed Cloud volume simulations Services (MCS), ConnectEDU seized the opportunity to leverage the cloud for applications, such as• Leverage robust, built-in SuperApp, which simpliﬁes and speeds the entire college application process – from gathering sup- disaster recovery to assure porting documents, such as letters of recommendations and transcripts, to completing and submit- business continuity ting the application. ConnectEDU also saw an opportunity to use the cloud for a planned state-by- state rollout of a new student loan portal.• Ensure a compliant IT environment GOALS • Scale IT resources to match demand – ConnectEDU required infrastructure that could scale up and down to support new student applications, meet seasonal demand spikes, and accommo- date continuing customer growth. • Speed development and quality assurance (QA) projects – ConnectEDU needed an agile, test, development, and QA environment. • Lower total cost of ownership (TCO) – ConnectEDU looked to the cloud as a more cost-efﬁcient alternative to traditional hosting. • Comply with regulations – ConnectEDU must comply with federal regulations that govern the handling of conﬁdential student records and data, as well as standards for handling credit card data. • Improve Business Continuity – ConnectEDU required integrated disaster recovery to ensure that applications and data could be quickly recovered.
BUSINESS IMPACT After evaluating cloud offerings from several other service providers, ConnectEDU selected NaviS- ite MCS for its enterprise-class capabilities. “With its leading-edge infrastructure, built-in disaster recovery, and range of services, MCS differentiated itself as a high-performance, enterprise-class cloud,” said Rick Blaisdell, CTO, ConnectEDU. “It was uniquely suited to our requirements for per- formance, scalability, availability, and security.” A Once on NaviSite’s cloud platform, ConnectEDU used AppCenter, a web-based management tool, to create its IT environments. “We needed to be able to quickly build and tear down develop- ment and QA environments,” said Blaisdell. “Not only does AppCenter make it easy to create our IT environments, it allowed us to instantly convert a test environment to a full-blown production environment with a simple mouse-click. This ‘cloning’ capability was ideal for the staggered, state by state rollout of our student loan portal.” NaviSite’s cloud platform also enables ConnectEDU to ratchet CPU and RAM resources up – or down – to complete performance-related tasks in shorter At-A-Glance time periods. With MCS, ConnectEDU has reduced its costs by more than 30%. MCS enables ConnectEDU to scale Founded in 2002 up to meet seasonal demand spikes, and then scale back down when the additional resources are no longer required. Unlike other cloud providers that charge for each virtual machine (VM) de- Mission: ConnectEDU’s mission is ployed, NaviSite employs an innovative billing model based on aggregate resource usage. Custom- to give every student from every neighborhood across the country, ers pay only for the resources they actually consume. ConnectEDU has also been able to eliminate the best opportunity to achieve its traditional hardware and software costs, since these costs are built into the usage-based billing the dream of a college education model. and a promising career. ConnectEDU handles sensitive student records and data, and must comply with strict federal reg- Website: www.connectedu.com ulations. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), for example, deﬁnes the require- ments for handling student education records. Since ConnectEDU offers student services for the Corporate Headquarters: K-6 market, it must also adhere to the Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Connect- 600 Atlantic Ave., 20th Floor Boston, MA 02210 USA EDU also required a PCI DSS compliant environment. NaviSite worked closely with ConnectEDU to ensure full compliance with these regulations and standards. For ConnectEDU, business continuity was also anWith its leading-edge infrastruc- important consideration.ture, built-in disaster recovery, andrange of services, MCS differenti- The cloud platform, built onated itself as a high-performance, Cisco’s Uniﬁed Computingenterprise-class cloud. It was System (UCS) and VMwareuniquely suited to our scalability, vSphere is architected forperformance, availability, and high-availability with dualsecurity requirements. fabric interconnects and server blades dedicated to Rick Blaisdell high-availability. MCS also CTO, ConnectEDU includes built-in disaster recovery, combined with a state-of-the-art opera- tions center and a highly resilient service delivery infrastructure spanning multiple data centers. POSITIONED FOR CONTINUED GROWTH 400 Minuteman Rd With NaviSite’s ﬂexible, cloud-based infrastructure, ConnectEDU is conﬁdent it can handle contin- Andover, MA 01810 ued business growth, while taking on ambitious development projects. “With this leading-edge cloud platform, ConnectEDU can concentrate on developing and deploying secured, reliable and www.navisite.com scalable applications,” said Blaisdell. 877-485-9251 Copyright 2010 NaviSite Part #CS-CEDU010-001 For more information about NaviSite Managed Cloud Services, or other solutions, please contact a NaviSite expert at 877-485-9251 or visit us at www.navisite.com.