2010-2011 Annual Report

The CCAS Office of Technology Services (OTS) worked to implement year one of its comprehensive three-year technology infrastructure plan.  Approved in the spring of 2010, the College’s multi-year strategic plan for technology is designed to build essential technology infrastructure in order to support the unique instructional, research, and administrative needs of the Columbian College. 

This year’s technology program included the deployment of a highly flexible, robust, and redundant virtualized server and storage infrastructure based on industry-standard technologies from HP, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, and Citrix.  CCAS was the first of the colleges and schools to co-locate its server resources in the new University Datacenter on F Street.  In doing so, CCAS was able to leverage an existing, ideal server hosting environment without the need for an expensive space build-out in an academic building.  The OTS strategy of implementing industry-proven technologies using best practices for deployment and management promises immense value, while maximizing cost savings and minimizing adoption risk.  The infrastructure, referred to as “Cloud,” embraces the industry concept of a private enterprise cloud, allowing CCAS constituents secure access to specialized hardware and software resources, in addition to personal and research data, from any device (PC, Mac, iPad, etc.), from any place, at any time.  During year one, the infrastructure build-out was completed, thoroughly tested with a small pilot group of users, and subsequently deployed to all administrative users in the Dean’s office.  Deployment to all departmental administrators (chairs, office managers, and assistants) is scheduled to be completed during the fall 2011 term.

OTS implemented a high-speed video storage area network and content management system for the School of Media and Public Affairs.  Based on Apple’s xSAN and Final Cut Server platform, the new system will distinguish the School’s undergraduate program, and help it to compete with major competitors such as the Cronkite School of Journalism, already well-known for its adoption of these technologies.  Another notable project was the re-location and consolidation of the Physics Department’s high performance computing clusters from Corcoran Hall to the University Datacenter.  By hosting the clusters in the main University Datacenter, research space in Corcoran Hall was made available for a new research faculty member.  The College’s technology initiatives, as well as its commitment to providing high quality support, continue to position it as a leader among other GW technology groups.