The University of Phayao has its origin in the proposal of Naresuan University in Pitsanulok. In 2007, it became an independent university and has started enroll students since 2008. At present, there are 17,000 students and 1,500 faculty members
and staffs. After becoming independent, the number of students rises sharply and, because of this, the university had to make a huge investment in new buildings, expanding campus and IT systems, which play an important role in classroom, academic activities
and campus management. The new university has also established the Center of Information Technology and Communication Services (CITCOMS) to administrate all the IT systems.
Before becoming independent, the University of Phayao had admitted 1,000 – 2,000 students per semester. But since the establishment, the number of students has doubled and tripled every semester, thereby multiplying the total number of the students. As the
first class has yet to graduate, the number of IT system users also rose, and for that reason, it was necessary for CITSCOM to expand and install the new systems to support the increasing number of users. What’s more, the combination of these systems must
also be scalable enough to support the growth in the future.
As for the IT assets, the University of Phayao operates many mission-critical applications and servers, with 28 blade servers and 11 rack servers. To support all the requirements, the University of Phayao decided to employ the virtualization solution.
With a new and larger information center, the university has modified the existing information center and turned it to the DR (disaster recovery) site to handle with unforeseen circumstances including blackouts and other problems which could result from
the unstable electricity system.
To achieve a seamless operation in case of an emergency, network system has been established between the two sites to enable data transfer and ensure latest updated data at the backup site. As a result, the university also required the data backup solution.
Professor Phonrob Sawasdee, the director of CITCOMS center, has been working for the University of Phayao since it was just a campus of Naresuan University. Professor Phonrob realized that one of the technologies that could fulfill IT needs for the university
was the visualization technology.
“We have used Microsoft® Windows Server® since the opening of the center. We had been using it until version 2008 and employed the Hyper-V technology for server virtualization. Then, when the 2012 version came out, we became interested and test-drove it
in the real environment. We found that there were many new features in this version, which could answer our needs very effectively."
“We implemented the Hyper-V technology and created 60 virtual machines on our main servers. These virtual machines are used to support more than 30 mission-critical applications. Aside from that, we used some of them in the classroom activities in the Faculty
of Information Technology and Communications. With this allocation, the professors and students can use the virtual machines for conducting computer labs - unlike before that we had to allocate the actual machines for the lab. If it was not for the virtualization
technology, we would have had to invest more than 3.5 million baht in servers for this,” said professor Phonrob.
The previous information center was now turned into the DR site and CITCOMS planned to replicate all the critical virtual machines by transferring them from the main site to the backup site through the Virtual Machine Replication method. Therefore, when
there is an incident that cripples the operations of the main site, it will redirect all of the operations to the backup site which contains the virtual machines and can resume the normal operations seamlessly.
However, to implement the Virtual Machine Replication, it needs a specific software and tool like WANSync to facilitate the smooth transfer.
"For Virtual Machine Replication in Windows Server® 2008, it needs software and tool to achieve it. But on Windows Server® 2012, we can replicate data without any additional tools by using the built-in Hyper-V technology. The Hyper-V enables the multiple virtual
machine backup and replicates data from the primary server to the replica server located in the DR site. This helps facilitate the operations and reduce software license costs by 3.5 million baht.”
“And from our trial, it can live up to our expectations. When we run the replica site, we can see that everything works as normal like in the primary one. All we have to do is moving the network systems to the backup site, which takes less than 1 hour, and
everything is back to normal again," Professor Phonrob explained.
University of Phayao has been adopting the virtualization technique ever since they used Windows Server® 2008. Through this technology, they could achieve outputs similar to that from tens of physical servers and effectively allocate centralized resources
to the applications as needed. The university can also expand the system to accommodate the number of students that rises exponentially each year.
“At the University of Phayao, we use Hyper-V for virtualization ever since we used Windows Server® 2008. And we found out that the 2012 version has many new and improved features including the Hyper-V technology and Virtual Machine Replication among others.
The solution does not only deliver results that is worth our investment but also helps saving costs of additional software that we would have needed for supporting our operations previously,” Professor Phonrob said.
“Windows Server® 2012 has included many new technologies and allowed the system resource utilization to reach its maximum potential. For example, the NIC Teaming consolidates all the network cards into one to increase the bandwidth and allow users to change
configurations in one place. These network cards can act as a backup to one another in case one of the cards is malfunction. This is useful for shared systems like e-Learning.”
“The IT members also can execute their jobs easier and more effectively due to a centralized Windows Server® 2008 administration tool. The solution also contains more useful scripts and allows us to customize and achieve a variety of programming, which proved
to be valuable for an environment that contains many servers like the University of Phayao,” said Khun Paween.
Windows Server® drives many of the world’s largest data centers, empowers small businesses around the world, and delivers value to organizations of all sizes in between. Building on this legacy, Windows Server® 2012 redefines the category, delivering hundreds
of new features and enhancements spanning virtualization, networking, storage, user experience, cloud computing, automation, and more. Simply put, Windows Server® 2012 helps you transform your IT operations to reduce costs and deliver a whole new level of
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