Virtual learning has, to many parents’ chagrin, become the “new normal” for most students. Even though some schools have reopened (at least in part) to in-person learning, all K-12 and higher education institutions have been forced to make long-term plans despite an uncertain future. To be sustainable in both the short and long term, schools must be able to deliver continuous access to services and coursework through learn-from-home (LFH) platforms that are provided securely and cost-effectively to students. The stop-gap solutions that many schools are currently using can expose security vulnerabilities, introduce latency, and drive up costs over time. That means there is no better time than the present for schools to assess and adjust their platforms to address those challenges. The ability to deliver these services in a more flexible and dynamic way with better economics is paramount.
NetApp can help. For more than two decades, NetApp has helped colleges, universities, research institutions, and school districts deliver educational services, find and develop world-class research, and manage the data needed for all of this. NetApp’s rich legacy of supporting education and research is now focused on providing solutions and services to help educators and researchers securely scale virtual learning environments up or down, on premises or in the cloud. NetApp can help educational institutions build a data fabric that simplifies management, movement, and protection of data, whether in a school financial system, high-performance computing research cluster, or learning applications. Only NetApp partners with all three of the world’s biggest cloud providers—AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud—to create a unified data management solution from your data center to the cloud of your choice. Combining that capability with industry-leading partnerships and proven, integrated solutions help reduce risk, accelerate deployment, simplify management, and lower total cost of ownership.
The cloud has undoubtedly been the backbone of virtual learning, as schools quickly expanded applications in the cloud to support basic LFH capabilities and provide access to critical Blackboard, SAP, Oracle, and Office 365 applications. However, these applications contain a treasure trove of sensitive personal data that must be protected from unauthorized access. NetApp can provide visibility into your compliance status for PII data and other compliance standards and integrate security features that reduce vulnerability to cyberattacks and ransomware, maintaining the security and privacy of your data wherever it resides.
In addition to potential security issues, performance issues are also commonplace in many short-term virtual learning solutions. These issues prohibit delivery of critical learning and administrative services and increase the amount of time required to deliver services. It’s critical to the success of the education system that educational institutions be able to develop digital systems, tools, and processes to deliver the performance that users need without disruption. NetApp can help improve your application performance at scale for your application end users.
Although public cloud solutions can offer immediate access with no upfront capital investment, the long-term cost of storing data and applications in the cloud can quickly spiral out of control, putting extra strain on already uncertain budgets. NetApp solutions can help simplify and automate data management to improve IT economics, both on premise and in the cloud. Built-in efficiencies such as data deduplication and compression can help you lower your annual storage costs by up to 35% and reduce your storage footprint by as much as 50% or more. When combined with Spot by NetApp, the average customer saves greater than 70% of their cloud compute costs. When combined with NetApp’s unmatched data services capabilities in the cloud(s) of your choice, you truly can have more cloud for less cost.
NetApp and Cisco FlexPod’s virtual desktop (VDI) includes all the hardware components you need to deliver virtual desktops, applications, and even full computing lab environments to your students. Simple and secure, FlexPod VDI lets you start small and then scale to support your entire campus—locally or around the world. And FlexPod VDI supports more complicated remote educational environments, including those that require remote access to high-performance computing environments and 3D applications such as computer-aided design (CAD). You can mix, match, and scale storage and compute resources to meet the needs of all students, wherever they are learning from.
As a Star Partner of NetApp, GDT is ideally suited to help your education institution implement solutions to drive your business forward. If you’d like to learn more, provide your information below, and we will reach out to you.