UIT Strategic Priority: Blended Data Center - University of Houston
Skip to main content

Blended Data Center

OVERVIEW

A blended data center is a hybrid operation that combines cloud-based and on-premises components. Having a blended data center enables us to implement services while increasing value and lowering costs. On-premises elements are provided from the University Data Center maintained by UIT; the cloud-based services may range from software to platform to infrastructure as a service (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS; e.g., Microsoft Azure, Microsoft OneDrive, AWS, Adobe Creative Cloud).

ALIGNMENT

  • With the University — Competitive Resources: Implementing carefully selected resources enables UIT to provide the most current services at optimal cost.
  • With the UH System — Principles 1 and 9: Carefully chosen cloud services at the system level further the 1st and 9th Principles of the UH System: that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and that UHS maximizes opportunities for both its faculty and students to benefit from being within a system ( Appendix A ).
  • With the State — Reliable & Secure Services: A blend of locally provided and cloud services gives flexibility to our strategy to assure security and continuity of operations.
  • With the State — Mature IT Resource Management: This approach allows us to choose the optimal combination of service-level value and cost.

Infrastructure 

CURRENT STATE

  • Higher education, like all industries, is increasingly adopting cloud technologies to replace on-premises service solutions.
  • UIT has implemented Office 365 and MS OneDrive, and is taking steps to define the migration path to MS Teams.
  • Cloud technologies are proliferating, with more options and greater competition among providers.
  • The UH cloud in the Data Center has virtualized 83% of the server infrastructure.

PATH TO SUCCESS

  • Lead and advise in the move to the cloud. The rapid expansion of cloud-based services makes it easier and more tempting for individual departments to negotiate directly with vendors of these technologies.
  • Maximize consistency and economies of scale. UIT will achieve this by proposing standard criteria and selection processes, helping create cost/value assessments and being a trusted advisor to
    UH departments.

FY2020 INITIATIVES

  • Emphasize strategic rather than transactional vendor relationships.
  • Make business process redesign an integral, preliminary step when replacing a technology solution or considering a move to the cloud.
  • Promote and lead the definition of a business process redesign strategy that spans functional unit boundaries by engaging multiple units where applicable.