March 27, 2015

Data Governance Group Meets with UAlbany and Tours State-of-the-Art Data Center

Todd Myles, assistant director for cloud computing in the college's Office of Information Technology Services conducts a tour of the UAlbany data facility, which houses college's hybrid cloud data storage infrastructure.

Todd Myles, assistant director for cloud computing in the college’s Office of Information Technology Services, conducts a tour of the UAlbany data facility, which houses the college’s hybrid cloud data storage infrastructure. Photo/Empire State College

Members of the college’s data governance group recently toured the University at Albany’s state-of-the-art data center, where construction of the college’s new “hybrid cloud” data storage infrastructure is well underway.

Cloud computing involves deploying groups of remote servers and software networks that allow centralized data storage and online access to computer services or resources.

A hybrid cloud is a computing environment where the college provides and manages some resources and has others provided externally.

The college’s new cloud infrastructure will provide a secure, reliable and available environment in which to host the college’s Datatel Colleague, email and other enterprise computing applications.

“Restructuring and rebuilding the college’s information technology systems are important components in our efforts to provide a greater level of service for the college community, so that we can advance student learning and enhance their support services as they work to complete their degrees,” said Sam Conn, the college’s chief information officer and vice president for integrated technologies. “People are SUNY Empire’s most valuable asset and we try always to be mindful of that fact as we move forward.”

The tour was led by Jeanne Weber, director of enterprise infrastructure services at UAlbany, and Todd Myles, assistant director for cloud computing in SUNY Empire's Office of Information Technology Services.

As a member of the information technology services team, Myles’ responsibilities include the completion of the college’s build-out and the data center and subsequent management of its systems.

Completion of the college’s cloud infrastructure at UAlbany is anticipated for the summer of 2015, at which time migration of the enterprise applications and systems will begin.

Construction for a secondary hybrid cloud facility, hosted by the SUNY ITEC data center in Buffalo, is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2015.

This facility will provide for additional disaster recovery and continuity of operations and also host the college’s virtualized data warehouse.

Before the tour, the data group met with counterparts from UAlbany, who successfully transitioned enterprise computing applications. The discussion included the pros and cons of different types of enterprise applications and the many challenges associated with migrating these applications from one data platform to another.

The UAlbany team was interested in learning about the challenges specific to SUNY Empire and how working through these challenges collaboratively would inform their work as enterprise solutions for higher education continue to evolve.

The college follows Hudson Valley Community College in collaborating with UAlbany and taking advantage of shared services.

In October 2013, UAlbany was recognized by SUNY with a “system-ness” shared-services award for its data center.

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