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The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) has statewide campuses and more than 100,000 students that depend on online access. To better serve them, KCTCS wanted a more flexible IT infrastructure and improved stability, but it also needed an affordable solution. KCTCS is meeting these goals by implementing Windows Server® 2008 R2 with Hyper-V™ virtualization technology. By deploying virtual servers, KCTCS will increase availability and cut server deployment time from hours to minutes. New management capabilities will ease administration, and tools such as Windows PowerShell™ 2.0 will streamline user-account provisioning and other routine tasks. Also, by using Hyper-V, KCTCS estimates that it will cut deployment costs for its virtual disaster recovery site by nearly 80 percent. Ultimately, the solution will help KCTCS support growth more affordably and efficiently.
College System to Cut Deployment Costs for Disaster Recovery Site by Nearly 80 Percent Overview “Replicating our data center with physical servers Country or Region: United States Industry: Education—Community wasn’t possible, because it cost too much. By using colleges Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V, we estimate Customer Profile we can cut costs by almost 80 percent.” The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) is a statewide Tony Eversole, IT Project Manager, Kentucky Community and Technical College System network of 16 colleges and 67 campuses. Based in Versailles, Kentucky, KCTCS has more than 100,000 students and 8,000 The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) employees. has statewide campuses and more than 100,000 students that Business Situation depend on online access. To better serve them, KCTCS wanted a KCTCS wanted an affordable solution more flexible IT infrastructure and improved stability, but it also that would help improve uptime and make it easier to implement new needed an affordable solution. KCTCS is meeting these goals by projects. It also sought to ease implementing Windows Server® 2008 R2 with Hyper-V™ management of its distributed infrastructure. virtualization technology. By deploying virtual servers, KCTCS will increase availability and cut server deployment time from hours Solution KCTCS is deploying Windows Server® to minutes. New management capabilities will ease 2008 R2 with Hyper-V™ virtualization administration, and tools such as Windows PowerShell™ 2.0 will technology. The solution integrates with Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010 and streamline user-account provisioning and other routine tasks. other core applications. Also, by using Hyper-V, KCTCS estimates that it will cut Benefits deployment costs for its virtual disaster recovery site by nearly Increases uptime to 99.9 percent 80 percent. Ultimately, the solution will help KCTCS support Improves scalability Streamlines management growth more affordably and efficiently. Cuts planning, deployment, and management costs Situation To improve uptime, KCTCS decided to The Kentucky Community and Technical deploy a new disaster recovery site by College System (KCTCS) is a postsecondary replicating 41 production servers running in education institution with 16 colleges and a central data center. Like many 67 campuses throughout the state. Based organizations, however, KCTCS faced in Versailles, Kentucky, the community increasing budget cuts, and it realized that college system offers certificates, diplomas, the project would be too expensive with and two-year associate degrees in more physical systems. than 600 programs. Many students participate in the baccalaureate transfer The challenge extended beyond the program to earn an associate degree and immediate need to ensure the availability then transfer to a four-year university in of resources. KCTCS knew that the trend Kentucky. KCTCS has more than 100,000 toward distance education and online students and 8,000 employees. education would only increase, and it wanted to adapt to changes in enrollment The college system strives to make general by being able to deploy new servers faster. education and work-force training widely Eversole says, “More students are available through its network of campuses. connecting remotely, and our population of In an effort to provide even more Kentucky more than 100,000 students could easily residents with a college education, KCTCS grow to 200,000.” began offering online courses in 2007. Because access to education is increasingly Finally, faster server deployment was only aligned with access to IT resources, the one part of an overall need to simplify IT institution began looking at more ways to management. A small IT team remotely enhance service. managed the central data center along with 80 domain controllers that are located KCTCS upgrades its server computers and across the state in branch campuses. The IT other hardware at four-year intervals, and environment included different versions of began planning its next refresh in 2008. In the Windows® operating system, which addition to upgrading hardware, KCTCS complicated routine tasks such as wanted to improve the availability of core deploying security updates. So in addition enterprise applications and services that to improving availability, KCTCS wanted to include e-mail, collaboration tools, and deploy a standardized environment that human resources applications. With more would be easier to administer. than 100,000 people relying on the KCTCS administrators for service, uptime was Solution critical. “Stability is a big thing for us,” says In June 2009, KCTCS decided to migrate its Tony Eversole, IT Project Manager at the IT environment to the Windows Server® Kentucky Community and Technical College 2008 R2 Datacenter operating system and System. “We don’t have true service level deploy Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010 agreements with the colleges, but we Enterprise at the same time. It wanted a definitely hear from them when something standardized IT environment and was like the e-mail system goes down. E-mail is interested in management tools and probably the most used application in our virtualization technology that are available enterprise. Everyone—including students, in the new operating system. Also, by faculty, and other staff—depends on it.” deploying Exchange Server 2010, KCTCS could take advantage of features such as “Now … we have the more storage options and enhanced role- based administration tools that reduce the realized that it had found the right solution for implementing a virtual disaster recovery option to virtualize burden on IT staff. “The timing is good for site. Although KCTCS had tried a us because we will get the newest Windows virtualization project from another vendor, servers if we have an Server operating system along with the it believed that Hyper-V was easier to influx of 100,000 newest Exchange Server release,” says Eversole. “And the stability of Exchange manage and that applications running on it performed better. students. As the Server 2010 with Windows Server 2008 R2 is great.” The college system plans to upgrade its enterprise solution data center with 41 new server computers providers, we have to Initially, the college system planned to deploy only Windows Server 2008 R2 on running Windows Server 2008 R2. With the help of the Microsoft Assessment and be able to adapt, and existing infrastructure. It used Microsoft Planning Toolkit, KCTCS assessed the Solution Accelerators such as the Microsoft existing usage of current servers and Hyper-V definitely Assessment and Planning Toolkit to learned that current workloads could run in facilitates that.” determine the hardware and device compatibility of existing servers for the a virtualized environment on fewer physical systems. It used the information to plan the Tony Eversole, IT Project Manager, Kentucky Windows Server 2008 R2 upgrade. But next phase of the project, which includes a Community and Technical College System when it became an early adopter of virtualized disaster recovery solution. Exchange Server 2010, KCTCS discovered that it could replace its storage area KCTCS will deploy Windows Server 2008 R2 network with a lower cost, direct-attached on 41 IBM System x3650 M2 server storage solution. It then decided to deploy computers in its data center. Then it will both Windows Server 2008 R2 and replicate the entire data center in a Exchange Server 2010 on multicore 64-bit virtualized disaster recovery environment processors. where 41 virtualized servers will run on five physical servers. The next phase will include The IT staff also wanted to take a closer upgrading domain controllers throughout look at Hyper-V™ virtualization technology. the campus network with new server KCTCS knew that support for multicore hardware and Windows Server 2008 R2. processors combined with virtualization technology would facilitate greater Eversole and his colleagues will remotely consolidation. Windows Server 2008 R2 is manage the data center and domain the first Windows operating system to be controllers with Server Manager, which is offered for only 64-bit processors, which built into Windows Server 2008 R2. The tool enhance performance and stability. Hyper- will play a key role in the deployment V technology extends the benefits of 64-bit process as well; KCTCS administrators will computing further by supporting up to 64 use it to pre-stage domain controllers in logical processors in the host processor the virtualized lab. Then they will copy the pool. installation files to servers throughout the campus network. In addition to Server KCTCS tested new products such as Manager, KCTCS will administer its disaster Exchange Server 2010 and Microsoft Office recovery environment with the Hyper-V Communications Server 2007 R2 in a lab Management Console and Microsoft environment with Windows Server 2008 R2 System Center Virtual Machine Manager and Hyper-V. When it saw that other core 2008. It will also use the Live Migration software also ran well on Hyper-V, KCTCS feature in Hyper-V to migrate virtual “Once a virtual hard servers between physical hosts without taking applications or services offline. “Stability is one of our primary goals. We need to keep systems up as long as drive is created, it takes possible,” says Eversole. “We’ll definitely KCTCS plans to take advantage of see an improvement with Windows Server minutes to deploy a enhancements in the Active Directory® 2008 R2.” Hyper-V server versus service, such as a module for the Windows PowerShell™ 2.0 command-line shell and With a new disaster recovery site and the hours it can take to scripting language that it can use to features such as Live Migration that keep manage all Active Directory server roles. It servers online even during maintenance, set up a physical server also looks forward to new features such as KCTCS expects a significant increase in and install and Active Directory Recycle Bin—which it can use to recover deleted objects in a domain uptime. “Our uptime was already pretty high,” says Eversole. “But when you add the configure applications.” without having to take the domain disaster recovery site running on Hyper-V, controller offline—and the task-oriented it will go even higher—perhaps from 99 to Tony Eversole, IT Project Manager, Kentucky Active Directory Administrative Center. 99.9 percent.” Community and Technical College System KCTCS expects to complete deployment by Improves Scalability mid-2010 and is already exploring more Although KCTCS is using Windows Server Windows Server 2008 R2 capabilities. The 2008 R2 to meet its immediate goals for central KCTCS data center and some of the ensuring high availability, it has future colleges are interested in features that will scalability in mind as well. “Now that we improve access to applications and know that core applications such as information. For example, instead of setting Exchange Server 2010 and Office up a virtual private network, they could use Communications Server 2007 R2 are the DirectAccess feature to connect supported on Hyper-V, we have the option external users to resources such as e-mail to virtualize servers if we have an influx of and intranets. KCTCS is considering using 100,000 students,” says Eversole. “As the the Infrastructure Planning and Design enterprise solution providers, we have to be Guide for DirectAccess with Microsoft able to adapt, and Hyper-V definitely Deployment Toolkit 2010 to simplify its facilitates that.” DirectAccess design and deployment process. Streamlines Management Eversole points out that while virtual server Benefits deployment will ensure high availability for By using Windows Server 2008 R2 with students and other users, it also has clear Hyper-V, KCTCS expects to realize multiple benefits for KCTCS administrators. “Once a benefits including 99.9 percent uptime and virtual hard drive is created, it takes improved flexibility. Management will be minutes to deploy a Hyper-V server versus easier and new IT projects will be more the hours it can take to set up a physical affordable—KCTCS estimates that it can cut server and install and configure deployment costs by 80 percent by using applications.” virtualization. KCTCS administrators also expect to Increases Uptime to 99.9 Percent improve efficiency with enhanced KCTCS will be able to improve its level of management tools. “Windows PowerShell service to staff and students by deploying 2.0 in Windows Server 2008 R2 is a good Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V. thing—I can’t say enough about it,” says “The Microsoft Eversole. “I can use scripts to completely automate my tedious manual job functions. much,” says Eversole. “By using Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V, we estimate Assessment and For example, with our existing provisioning we can cut costs by almost 80 percent.” system, it takes four processes to provision Planning Toolkit alone user accounts, but with Windows The smaller data center footprint for the saved me five days of PowerShell 2.0, we can do it in one step.” disaster recovery site will also help KCTCS control management costs. KCTCS servers otherwise manual labor Other management processes are similarly run offsite in a colocation center and streamlined. “Currently we use a Remote KCTCS pays for each rack that is installed. in inventorying servers Desktop Connection to access remote “We can save money by consolidating as and choosing servers, and then run Server Manager on the local server to access event logs and many servers as possible on each rack,” explains Eversole. “With Hyper-V, the virtualization other diagnostic information,” says replication of our entire data center can fit Eversole. “But with Server Manager in on one rack with 5 physical servers instead candidates.” Windows Server 2008 R2, we will be able to of four racks and 41 physical servers.” Tony Eversole, IT Project Manager, Kentucky use just one console to remotely connect.” Community and Technical College System For KCTCS, Windows Server 2008 R2 has Cuts Planning, Deployment, and come at the right time. “We have less Management Costs money to spend, and the new disaster Eversole is an early adopter and advocate recovery site wasn’t possible before,” says of Microsoft Solution Accelerators. For the Eversole. “And not just because of the current project, he used tools such as the cost—some of the applications weren’t Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit supported in a virtualized environment. But to create a full inventory of server now that they are, and now that we can computers and to identify which ones afford it, it just makes sense to expand by would be good candidates for using Hyper-V.” consolidating with Hyper-V. He reduced implementation time by 10 days and cut costs by 80 percent as a result. “By using Microsoft Solution Accelerators, I significantly simplified the planning and deployment process of Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V,” says Eversole. “The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit alone saved me five days of otherwise manual labor in inventorying servers and choosing virtualization candidates.” Although KCTCS knew it needed to increase its server infrastructure to better serve its growing student community, taking on new projects with physical systems wasn’t in the budget. With Hyper-V technology, projects such as the new disaster recovery site are now within reach. “Replicating our data center with physical servers wasn’t possible, because it cost too For More Information Windows Server 2008 R2 For more information about Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 is the latest products and services, call the Microsoft version of the Windows Server operating Sales Information Center at (800) 426- system from Microsoft. With Windows 9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Server 2008 R2, you can create solutions Canada Information Centre at (877) 568- that are easier to plan, deploy, and manage 2495. Customers in the United States and than with previous versions of Windows Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing Server. Building on the features, security, can reach Microsoft text telephone reliability, and performance provided by (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Windows Server 2008, Windows Server Outside the 50 United States and 2008 R2 extends connectivity and control Canada, please contact your local to local and remote resources. This means Microsoft subsidiary. To access that your organization can benefit from information using the World Wide Web, reduced costs and increased efficiencies go to: gained through enhanced management www.microsoft.com and control over resources across the enterprise For more information about the Kentucky Community and Technical College For more information, go to System products and services, call (877) www.microsoft.com/WindowsServer2008R2 528-2748 or visit the Web site at: www.kctcs.edu Software and Services Technologies Microsoft Server Product Portfolio − Active Directory − Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter − Hyper-V − Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 − Windows PowerShell 2.0 Enterprise − Microsoft System Center Virtual Hardware Machine Manager 2008 IBM System x3650 M2 server computers Solutions − Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Document published September 2009
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