Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

August 2010

Reach for the Clouds at OPSU


Some Oklahoma Panhandle State University instructors have their heads in the clouds. "Clouds" in this case represent the virtual network organization of the computing, networking, and systems resources used in the Computer Information Systems department. "Cloud computing" generally refers to a new generation of organizational and delivery methods for information technology that relies on using virtual computing rather than physical or hardware resources.

Diane Murphey, dean of the School of Business and Technology, and instructors Steve Martin, Vicki Pasque and Matthew Carter have been installing and getting a Storage Area Network (SAN) online this summer. With a tremendous 12 terabytes of storage capacity and 24 gigabytes of random access memory (RAM) on the new ESX server, the magnitude might be likened to having all of the automobiles ever manufactured stored in one garage in a remote location with an automated system that can deliver a specific vehicle to any front door in a fraction of a second.

The new system means far fewer pieces of equipment to operate, maintain and keep cool, thereby increasing efficiency and lowering cost. Thanks to the Oklahoma State Regents of Higher Education, continued funding of the Program of Excellence has made it possible for the CIS crew to streamline their operation while increasing reliability and security as well as enhancing student education. Murphey said, "We are fortunate to be able to offer this level of technology to our students as they will learn to create virtual networks, keeping them on the cutting edge of the very latest developments in information technology. Because we are small, OPSU's CIS department enjoys a high level of flexibility plus it allows all of the instructors to master every aspect our infrastructure operation."

For more information about joining OPSU's "cloud computing" students, contact Murphey by phone at 580-349-1466 or virtually at diane@opsu.edu.

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