Midland College in Texas Completes Transition to Quasar Data Center Cloud

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Midland College, an independent junior college established in 1972, located in Midland Texas, was faced with an aging server-based network that was expensive to operate and plagued with performance issues. Quasar Data Center worked with Midland College to develop and implement a transition plan from their existing environment to a new private cloud (virtual) environment.

Like many colleges and businesses, Midland College was faced with an aging server-based network that was expensive to operate and plagued with performance issues, multiple versions of the same software and a heritage email system with expensive licensing and support. Dennis Sever, the Vice President of Information Technology and Facilities at Midland College, knew there had to be a better solution.

quasar-data-centerQuasar Data Center performed a network assessment and determined what cloud computing options were available for Midland College. Quasar is a full-service data center located in Houston, Texas that provides cloud hosting services, colocation, business continuity, and IT managed services.

Pilot Study

One of the first steps Quasar and Midland College performed together was a pilot study to evaluate network connectivity and develop cloud system requirements for the user interfaces, system performance, network storage, backup capability and support. In addition, Mr. Sever and Midland College were able to defer some of the startup and transition cost by working with Chevron through an energy savings grant that included HVAC upgrades, switching to LED lighting and the savings from eliminating network servers by transitioning to cloud computing.

Quasar’s network assessment and pilot study was instrumental in developing a campus-wide customized cloud computing “Infrastructure as a Service” solution. The pilot study validated the network performance, connectivity, virtual environment sizing and user interfaces for Remote Desktop, Citrix VDI and Graphical Processing Units.

Transition Plan

Quasar Data Center worked with Mr. Sever and Midland College to develop and implement a transition plan from the existing environment to the new private cloud (virtual) environment that would be performed with minimal interruption of service.

cloud-hosting-universityIn addition to developing and migrating the production environment, Quasar completed the following transition tasks: SharePoint migration and upgrade from SharePoint 2010 to 2013; conversion of Novell eDirectory to Microsoft Active Directory and conversion of Novell GroupWise to Microsoft Exchange enterprise.

Quasar provides Midland College continuous operations support by providing 24/7 cloud monitoring and certified technicians for cloud management (maintenance and issue resolution) for uptime of the operational environment.

With the cloud transition complete, the following benefits would have been realized by Midland College:

  • Substantial energy and cost savings
  • Removed the need for multiple PC licenses
  • Upgrades are done virtually and remotely, users have the ability to connect remotely to their desktop (and always get the same desktop)
  • Eliminated the need to move user computers when they move offices.
  • Have the ability to affect multiple changes quickly whereby whole classrooms (or groups of client views) can be updated at once.