Federal and state government is placing increasing emphasis on the consolidation of data centers and a better accounting of IT inventory in general. While many policies and practices can help, network monitoring is perhaps the best and simplest.
Most government organizations employ some level of network monitoring, but very few have the capability to look across the hybrid environment, physical and cloud, to find redundancies in their infrastructure. At University of Maryland University College (UMUC), we’ve adopted unified network monitoring across all our platforms.
The result is a decrease in IT servers by about 97 percent, and a reduction in data centers by about 40 percent. Our colleagues on the state and federal level could benefit from this approach as well and make it easier to comply with IT procurement and maintenance requirements.
UMUC is effectively the largest public online university in the United States. As part of the University System of Maryland, UMUC serves nearly 84,000 students worldwide and 5,000 faculty and staff. Our locations range from College Park Md., to Kaiserslautern, Germany, to Yokota, Japan.
With this many disparate locations, it’s not surprising that our IT infrastructure was similarly disjointed. When I started at UMUC three years ago, we had five data centers around the world, a vast array of hardware and five different network monitoring systems. There was no single, integrated snapshot of how our network was performing.