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A nationally ranked business school, Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business used Novell Open Enterprise Server running SUSE Linux Enterprise to consolidate servers by 90 percent and cut implementation time for new applications by 50 percent.

Overview

Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business is a premier business school located in the nation's capital. Founded in 1957 to educate undergraduate business students through the integration of liberal arts and professional education, the McDonough School has approximately 1,300 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students and 250 faculty and staff.

Challenge

Preparing students for corporate careers is the number-one priority for Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. The business school models its own IT infrastructure after progressive corporate environments, such as leading investment firms, to provide students with access to the latest technology.

The business school wanted to move to Linux to provide better performance for its Web applications and services, as well as to leverage virtualization. The school also wanted to find the best collaboration tool to help its students work in groups, regardless of location.

Solution

The McDonough School evaluated enterprise solutions from Microsoft and Red Hat before selecting Novell Open Enterprise Server running SUSE Linux Enterprise.

“Novell has bullet-proof solutions which can’t be said about many other vendors,” said John Carpenter, CTO of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. “We get all the tools that our students will need in the real world. We also like Novell’s forward-thinking attitude about Linux.”

The McDonough School worked with Novell Consulting to update its infrastructure to Novell Open Enterprise Server running SUSE Linux Enterprise. Using VMware, the IT staff created virtual servers and is using just a tenth of its data center space. The school can easily build and test servers before implementation, and can set up new virtual servers without the need for additional hardware.

“We started out with 2–3 racks of servers, but now run virtual servers on just a few blade servers,” said Carpenter. “The number of virtual servers we have now outnumbers the amount of physical servers we previously had, and they are far easier to manage. Our entire environment is also faster than our previous infrastructure.”

All of the business school’s mission-critical applications now run on SUSE Linux Enterprise, including Apache, Novell GroupWise, Novell Teaming + Conferencing, Web services, and the school’s Intranet and corporate Web site.

“Our Web site serves as a critical recruiting tool so if it goes down we could lose potential students,” said Carpenter. “SUSE Linux Enterprise gives us great performance and unmatched security. We can run everything on Linux.”

Novell iPrint, a component of Novell Open Enterprise Server, helps the business school manage printing services for all its students. Students select a printer from a graphical map to automatically download a printer driver and print from campus or their dorm room to any network printer. The IT staff no longer has to install printer drivers for individual students and also has sophisticated metering services to track all printing.

“We have a high turnover of students and the self-service capabilities of Novell iPrint have eliminated the time we used to spend installing printer drivers,” said Carpenter.

Students at the business school often work in teams and study groups, though not necessarily in the same location or time zone. The McDonough School evaluated collaboration solutions including Xerox DocuShare and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server before working with ALI, a Novell Platinum partner, to implement Novell Teaming + Conferencing.

With Novell Teaming + Conferencing, students and staff can create their own virtual workspaces to share files, edit documents, create blogs and wikis, and set up Web conferences. They no longer need IT support to set up mapped drives or shared folders.

“The best part about Novell Teaming + Conferencing is that students and staff can manage their own workspaces and adapt them to their specific needs,” said Carpenter. “Novell Teaming + Conferencing has created a whole new standard for file sharing and document management.”

The McDonough School runs Novell GroupWise on Linux for its 3,000 users and uses GroupWise Messenger for secure instant messaging. With the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, the IT staff can support the school’s mobile users.

Results

With Novell Open Enterprise Server running on SUSE Linux Enterprise, the McDonough School of Business has created an infrastructure that mirrors a progressive corporate environment. Using virtualization, the IT staff has consolidated servers by 90 percent and has reduced implementation time for new applications by 50 percent.

With Novell Teaming + Conferencing, the business school dramatically improved collaboration among students, faculty and staff with a solution that was 70 percent less than the cost of a competitive alternative.

“The great thing about working with Novell is that they come up with great new products that make our jobs easier,” said Carpenter. “When our IT infrastructure is running smoothly, we spend less time reacting to problems and more time thinking about what we want to do in the future.”



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