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Singapore Polytechnic Pioneers Next Generation Educational Cloud Computing Center


SINGAPORE, Oct. 07 -- With the launch of the SPE3C3 (Singapore Polytechnic Electrical and Electronic Engineering Cloud Computing Center) today, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) is the first educational institute in Asia Pacific to equip its students with the latest skills in cloud computing through an operational data center environment.

Conceptualized by its School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the SPE3C3 will also provide teaching staff and students in the school with on-demand, scalable, virtual computing and storage in labs to enable more sophisticated projects and research work. Singapore Polytechnic is utilizing the benefits of cloud computing to realize cost savings, energy efficiency and dynamic scalability.

The SPE3C3 was developed in collaboration with technology industry leaders Cisco, Citrix Systems and NetApp. While the resources will initially be available to the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering students anywhere on campus, it will be accessible by all students on and outside of campus, as long as they have internet access, in the near future.

"The new SPE3C3 shows Singapore Polytechnic's commitment to innovation in education and the use of cutting edge technology to provide its students with relevant and up-to-date training to develop their skills in virtualization, enterprise and cloud computing. Singapore Polytechnic graduates will be truly work-ready in the cloud era and be able to contribute immediately to the industry upon graduation," said Tan Hang Cheong, principal, Singapore Polytechnic.

In the new academic year starting in April 2012, students in the third year of the Diploma in Computer Engineering course at Singapore Polytechnic's School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering can look forward to two brand new elective modules -- Data Center Management and System Virtualization -- that will harness the power of the SPE3C3. These new courses are designed to educate and train students to setup, manage and support data centers, virtualization techniques (including server, storage and network virtualization) and data recovery.

Taking Education to New Heights SPE3C3 is built on integrated cloud architecture from Cisco, Citrix and NetApp. It is specially configured to support up to 31,000 Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPs), a first for the education industry in Singapore. In another industry first, the SPE3C3 can power up to 400 virtual machines, and more importantly in relation to class duration, it can start-up and shut-down 240 server virtual machines in six minutes, 20 times faster than the standard industry benchmark.

"Our main requirement for the new data center is its ability to support the simultaneous start-up and shut-down of a large number of computers in a short time. In our environment, this happens at least five to six times in a day, at the start and end of each class. We worked very closely with Citrix, as well as Cisco and NetApp, to architect a solution that will achieve this for us," said Steven Chew Lai Keat, senior lecturer from Singapore Polytechnic's School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering.

The solutions implemented in SPE3C3 are powered by Cisco, Citrix Systems and NetApp and will deliver a unified, pretested, and validated shared infrastructure that caters to Singapore Polytechnic's data center and desktop needs. The collaboration with Cisco, Citrix and NetApp allows cloud access for teaching resources, laboratory experiments, complex projects, lecture notes and lesson materials -- extending the boundaries of the classroom. This is particularly relevant for senior students who now have the ability to learn about and utilize the latest, industry standard technologies in cloud computing and storage resources for their research or final-year projects.

During periods of low utilization like school holidays, Singapore Polytechnic plans to use the SPE3C3 to provide students with practical experience in the management and configuration of a virtualized data center.

Industry-leading Technologies at SPE3C3

Cisco The SPE3C3 has implementations that build a network foundation for a next-generation unified fabric data center. The modular Cisco Nexus 7000 and 2000 Series Switches deliver a highly resilient, high-performance and high-density solution with 10 Gigabit Ethernet, 40G, and 100G for the data center. the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS), the industry's first converged data center platform, delivers smart, programmable infrastructure that simplifies and speeds learning and project applications and service deployment. In this next-generation educational cloud computing data center platform, model-based management, end-to-end provisioning, and migration support come together to accelerate and simplify application deployment with greater reliability and security. In addition, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances integrate industry-leading firewalls, VPN technology, intrusion prevention, content security, and unified communications security, in a unified platform for Singapore Polytechnic.

"Cloud computing is transforming the way technology is consumed and provided and Singapore Polytechnic is pioneering its use in education by being the first institute of higher learning in Singapore to implement an educational cloud computing center. The SPE3C3 is also a reaffirmation of Cisco's commitment over the last ten years to Singapore Polytechnic to help them utilize technology to enhance education," said Irving Tan, managing director for Asia South at Cisco.

Citrix Citrix XenServer, a key component of the SPE3C3's cloud computing and virtualization platform, consolidates the data center's server workload, enabling up to 240 computers to be powered-up at once, with minimal interruption to the system. The SPE3C3 has been optimized for Citrix XenDesktop, a desktop virtualization solution that gives users on-demand mobile access to their data anywhere and on any device. This implementation is expected to take place in the next phase of deployment and will allow the school to securely deliver individual operating systems and applications to any device, with an uncompromised high definition user experience driven by Citrix HDX technology.

"Citrix is proud to play a defining role in the implementation of the first operational cloud computing center in the Singapore education sector. With mobility becoming a key requirement of a holistic education experience in the cloud era, students and lecturers from Singapore Polytechnic will be at a distinct advantage, with their ability to easily and quickly access lecture notes, assignments and teaching materials via any mobile device. The potential for virtualization and mobility in the education sector is vast. We anticipate this growing demand to positively impact Citrix and our ecosystems and the future of education and technology," said Yaj Malik, area vice president, ASEAN at Citrix Systems.

NetApp The data center combines Citrix XenDesktop on FlexPod, a pretested data center solution built on a flexible, scalable, shared infrastructure from Cisco Unified Computing System servers and Cisco Nexus switches, and NetApp unified storage systems running Data ONTAP. With systems integration by PTC Systems, it is a shared infrastructure that can scale easily and be optimized for a variety of mixed application workloads that will to reduce operational risk and lower the total cost of ownership. With a central management interface, FlexPod reduces complexity for data center managers at Singapore Polytechnic. In addition, data protection and disaster recovery is built-in across the entire stack to ensure class continuity and time to save data in case of interruptions at SPE3C3.

"As an institution of higher learning that prepares students to embark on their careers, we applaud Singapore Polytechnic's vision to equip students and staff with the latest knowledge and skills in enterprise computing. The IT landscape has changed radically over the past few years and with the new SPE3C3, students and staff get a chance to experience the realities of IT today. More importantly, as demand for storage increases, with more complex computing projects and multimedia content, we are pleased to be able to support Singapore Polytechnic's needs for a secure, efficient and flexible shared infrastructure. NetApp's truly open-standards approach has also delivered reduced storage costs for Singapore Polytechnic," said Loh Ching Soo, general manager, Singapore, NetApp.

PTC System To ensure that SPE3C3 runs optimally, PTC System worked with Cisco, Citrix Systems and NetApp to integrate all the components from each vendor in the data center. PTC System also implemented a monitoring tool to manage the services and performance of the different components to facilitate an enhanced user experience for the students and staff.

"Virtualization and automation is the future of all data centers. We are seeing strong interest from customers to achieve greater efficiencies and to reduce cost via a flexible, secure and scalable IT infrastructure. By embarking on this project, Singapore Polytechnic shows their commitment to move IT to the next level," said SS Lim, managing director of PTC System.

About Singapore Polytechnic ( www.sp.edu.sg )

Established in 1954 to meet the manpower needs identified by the government, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) is Singapore's first polytechnic. Its 10 academic schools offer 49 full-time diploma courses for its 15,500 students and courses are kept relevant through close links with industry and government bodies, as well as with various overseas institutions.

SP offers broad-based, multi-disciplinary and flexible curriculum dedicated to hands-on experience. It is committed to the development of its applied research and development capabilities to enhance the quality of teaching and commercialisation efforts. Through Design Thinking, SP offers a revolutionary approach to education, allowing its students to look at problems from different perspectives, and strike a dynamic balance between intuitive and analytical thinking to provide impactful solutions. Among SP's 160,000 graduates are successful entrepreneurs, top executives in multinational and public-listed corporations, and well-known professionals, many of whom are captains of industries, university professors and researchers, and leaders in government. Follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/singaporepolytechnic or Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/SingaporePoly.

About Cisco

Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com. Cisco products are supplied in Singapore by Cisco Systems International, BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc.

About Citrix Systems

Citrix Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of virtual computing solutions that help people work and play from anywhere on any device. More than 230,000 enterprises rely on Citrix to create better ways for people, IT and business to work through virtual meetings, desktops and datacenters. Citrix virtualization, networking and cloud solutions deliver over 100 million corporate desktops and touch 75 percent of Internet users each day. Citrix partners with over 10,000 companies in 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2010 was US$1.87 billion.

About NetApp

NetApp creates innovative storage and data management solutions that accelerate business breakthroughs and deliver outstanding cost efficiency. Discover NetApp's passion for helping companies around the world go further, faster at www.netapp.com.

About PTC System Incorporated since 1991

PTC Systems Pte Ltd (PTC) specializes in providing enterprise data management solutions and services to leading enterprises, institutions, ISPs and government organizations. We provide integrated IT solutions with cutting edge technologies to ensure that our customers improve their overall performance and stay ahead of the competition. Our knowledge domain is the ability to manage mission-critical data. We offer consultancy to our customers in these areas: complexity of IT infrastructures, bandwidth resources, disaster recovery, data storage growth and total cost of ownership. Our solutions simplify data management, data access and improve network performance.

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Source: Cisco



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