With this upgrade, APU has the flexibility to allocate servers in response to peak demand, thereby increasing system performance and dramatically slashing the time needed to set up a server for temporary use down from one week to one day.
In addition, APU has deployed RapidWeb+, Fujitsu's web-system development solution that makes it possible to quickly set up applications needed for administrative tasks such as classroom management and facility reservations. APU looks forward to increasing workplace efficiency with the new environment.
At the beginning and end of each semester, APU's administrative system handles functions that tend to produce temporary bursts of activity requiring enormous amounts of data to be processed, such as new-student registration, on-line class registration, and processing academic-performance grades. The extra servers required to support this activity are brought online only as needed. APU, where roughly half of the 5,700-member student body is from abroad, has switched over entirely to a semester system, resulting in peak periods now coming twice a year. The workload associated with the more frequent set-up of temporary servers and test environments was becoming an issue for the university.
Also, to make the day-to-day tasks of classroom management and facility reservation more efficient, and to provide a higher level of service to students and their parents, the university needed an environment with the flexibility to add new systems, improve functionality, and increase performance.
System features and results include:
1. Private Cloud environment enables a more robust, more efficient system platform
By using a private Cloud, the temporary servers that are used during peak periods can be efficiently allocated to those areas with the highest utilization in order to increase performance.
Cloud Ready Blocks, Fujitsu's integrated private-Cloud package, enables flexible up-scaling and down-scaling of ICT resources to handle rapid allocation of and changes in temporary servers, as well as updated or modified task requirements. The package uses a portal menu where users can request and change ICT resources by entering a usage scenario and its requirements, enabling new servers to be set up in one day, a task which had previously taken a week (five days).
2. Provides platform for developing administrative applications
The Fujitsu RapidWeb+ web-system development solution has been deployed in the newly built private-Cloud environment, facilitating the rapid addition of new features. This automatically generates web screens to ensure the quick completion of administrative tasks that had typically been handled using manual input spreadsheet software, such as classroom management tasks or facility reservations. This can also automatically create links with other departments and compile statistics. Furthermore, since this development platform is built on top of the administrative-information system platform, it can access important data, such as the personal information of students, as well as the university's on-campus authentication system.
3. Rapid private-Cloud construction
This system uses Cloud Ready Blocks, Fujitsu's integrated private-Cloud package, which makes it possible to build private Cloud environments quickly and efficiently. Simply by following a question-and-answer process, Cloud Ready Blocks assembles tested elements into an optimal configuration. After that, the necessary hardware and devices with pre-loaded software are shipped directly to the customer, significantly reducing the time from shipment to full operation. In this case, the time from initial design to full operations took only two months.
With a firm understanding of its ICT needs, APU aims to accelerate the cycle of understanding, planning, building, operating, testing, and delivering timely services in response to user needs, as well as further enhancing the efficiency of its administrative work.
Fujitsu will continue to leverage its experience in supporting more universities with ICT, and to help APU create more value through the use of ICT in order to develop international talent.