The education industry is embracing cloud computing more rapidly than any other sector excluding large enterprises. According to recent studies by IDC and CDW, today more than one-third of higher education IT departments are either implementing or maintaining cloud-based systems.
Among the most compelling benefits that cloud-based services offer educational institutions are:
- Low-cost, anytime/anywhere accessibility to high-end computing resources
- The ability to seamlessly scale technology requirements (and costs) dynamically up or down in relation to demand
- Increased efficiency of service delivery, leading to faster results
- Simplified sharing of management resources for maximum efficiency at lowest cost
An additional benefit that cloud computing environments offer to educational institutions is flexibility: with cloud it’s easy to develop and deploy new “experimental” services, without the hassle and expense of upgrading systems or purchasing software licenses.
Cloud also meshes well with educational organizations because both are inherently distributed and network-dependent. Users that are spread across campuses, computer labs, dorms and classrooms need secure, reliable connectivity to a huge array of resources — from e-mail, to VoIP, to online classrooms and distance learning programs – over IP networks.
Even before the advent of cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SasS), education network engineers were already well aware of the challenges of delivering IP-based services to thousands of remote users. However, as more and more services are delivered via the network, network health becomes increasingly business-critical.
In any industry, the need to derive maximum business value from cloud computing and other IP-based services, while minimizing the business risks associated with application downtime, makes network performance management increasingly vital. To manage network performance in the cloud, you need to
- Guarantee service levels from the perspective of your users.
- Continuously monitor network performance end-to-end between the cloud environment and remote users and back, even over public networks.
- Quickly identify where network performance has dropped below acceptable thresholds, and why.
- Verify that cloud, SaaS and other providers are meeting service level commitment
Traditionally it has been difficult or impossible to achieve these capabilities without expensive, administration intensive network instrumentation that is far outside the reach of most college and university IT departments. Now, cost and implementation barriers have fallen away with network performance management services.
Educational institutions can now keep pace with their rapidly evolving user requirements and leverage innovative, cost-effective technology to maintain high-performing network services.