Whenever the subject of moving services and data to the cloud is discussed, the first thing that frequently gets mentioned as a benefit is how much money it can save your organization.  But all too often there is little substantive evidence to back up that claim.  While knowing something intuitively is all well and good, being able to demonstrate clear results is a far better outcome.  So, when we come across a technology deployment that not only celebrates cloud success, but provides tangible metrics, like how IlliniCloud has saved its schools 50 percent in IT costs, which for DeKalb School District translated into $500,000 in savings, it’s something worth sharing.

Here’s the story…

These days learning doesn’t only happen when a school building is open and course materials aren’t necessarily just found on chalkboards and in text books.  More and more often, education is happening via digital content and online learning.  Creating a thoroughly modern learning environment comes with a whole host of responsibilities and expenses including ensuring network resilience, storing data securely, and keeping costs down.  But for the school districts that work with IlliniCloud, a non-profit consortium that has pioneered shared resources models for schools, concerns about deployment, execution, and budget are no longer the top concern.

By using IlliniCloud’s shared resources model, 350 school districts in Illinois and six other states have been able to avoid areas of high cost – like hardware acquisition and management – by participating in a pay-as-you-go model that enables districts to purchase only the services they need.  So, while IlliniCloud is providing a tremendous service to educators and administrators, who did their team turn to on the back to ensure that a scalable, flexible, and easy to manage solution was in place on the back end?

After evaluating several options IlliniCloud turned to solutions provided by NetApp and VMware to support their private cloud.  In evaluations NetApp’s private cloud infrastructure ranked highly on key technical indicators such as scalability and nimbleness, but also on important cultural factors such as the willingness of the solution architects to listen to, and understand, the unique requirements of an educational clientele in areas such as data privacy and protection as well as backup and recovery.  But, for the service provider and the end user the most important factor was that it enabled “previously spent IT dollars to be [redirected] to more one-to-one programs, more mobility, and more learning opportunities” in the classroom.

Interested in learning more about how NetApp and its partners helped IlliniCloud and its end users? You can download a copy of the case study here…