Green Tech: Texas District Virtualizes Servers on VMware, Dell

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Tyler Independent School District in Texas said it has recently moved its servers to a virtualized infrastructure, consolidating 114 older servers onto seven new ones. The district is running VMware ESX Server software on Dell PowerEdge 2950 servers.

Virtualization is a growing trend in IT departments across all sectors. Virtualization technologies allow the work of multiple machines to be carried out by a single computer, making more efficient use of power and helping to cut costs and reduce the carbon footprint of data centers. Back in April, research firm Gartner cited virtualization as the "highest-impact" technology looking ahead over the next four years.

In the case of Tyler ISD, the district is also using virtualization technology to expand the services available to teachers and students remotely.

"We wanted to make instruction available to students 24/7, and to provide student access to advice and productivity tools anytime and anywhere that made sense to them," said John Orbaugh, director of Technology Services for Tyler ISD, in a statement released Monday. "With this consolidation, we have addressed the need to have all of our servers centralized, where they can be stored, backed up and protected all in one location. The Dell solution provided everything from set-up to the removal of our old PCs and boxes."

Through the new infrastructure, teachers now have outside access to grade books, and students have access to class notes and other materials through Stoneware webNetwork.

In the deployment, Tyler ISD also switched over to Dell EqualLogic iSCSI storage arrays for data backup and recovery.

Tyler ISD, in Northeast Texas, serves about 18,000 students and operates 35 campuses and auxiliary facilities.

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About the author:David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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