Kentucky Community and Technical College System by MicrosoftCaseStudies


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									                                           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
                                           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
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.”
                                                                                              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                                     and control over resources across the
For more information about the Kentucky
Community and Technical College                       For more information, go to
System products and services, call (877)    
528-2748 or visit the Web site at:

                                                       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
                                                         − Microsoft System Center Virtual          Hardware
                                                           Machine Manager 2008                        IBM System x3650 M2 server computers
                                                        Solutions
                                                         − Microsoft Assessment and Planning

This case study is for informational purposes only.

Document published September 2009

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