As Ohio's largest private university with 90 percent of its studentbody living on campus and using the university's network around the clock, the University of Dayton needed reliability and security, specifically protection against viruses that can sneak in through one student's computer and take down the whole network.
"Our network is like the wild, wild west, with users having far greater control than if they were on a corporate network," said Al Stern, systems manager at the University of Dayton. "We have to have the reliability and security that Novell provides to give students 24/7 access and to protect our network against attacks."
To manage its unique campus environment, the university is using a Novell Nterprise solution, including NetWare 6.5, Novell Cluster Services to ensure uptime, and ZENworks for desktop management.
In the wake of the MS Blaster virus, several parts of the university using Windows servers had to shut down, but the NetWare servers didn't take a hit. The attack came just a week before the fall semester started and could have proved disastrous for 10,000 students trying to begin classes.
"NetWare 6.5 seems immune to virus attacks," Stern said. "We've never been shut down. When we bring up a Microsoft Windows server on the network we have to treat it like it's radioactive so as not to cause problems. We can bring up a NetWare server at any time without a problem."
The university recently used NetWare 6.5 to consolidate 43 servers down to 18, saving $200,000 a year in hardware. And with support for open source software in NetWare 6.5, the university can use MySQL, Apache, Tomcat, PERL and PHP to quickly create new applications that will significantly reduce its licensing costs. This fall, the Princeton Review ranked the University of Dayton 24th on its list of America's "most-connected" campuses, and the university won an InfoWorld 100 award for outstanding IT project.
"We would need twice as many people to manage our environment without Novell," Stern said. "With budget cuts, we haven't been able to replace IT staff for years, but we've been able to increase what we can do, even with fewer people. There is great confidence in our IT department because of Novell."
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