SUNNYVALE, Calif. - June 19, 2012 -Metropolitan State College of Denver was facing two critical IT challenges with its aging storage hardware-how to replace that outdated hardware in the face of a 5% budget cut, and how to better serve the needs of its students with disabilities at the same time. The institution was struggling with the prospect of purchasing a less-capable system with lower performance, as it strove to support its 24,000 registered students and 4,000 faculty. That was when Metro State officials heard about NetApp's Education Donation program and applied online.
NetApp responded with the donation of a FAS3170 series storage system that is optimized to work in a virtualized environment, making it possible for students with disabilities to do their classwork remotely. The FAS3170 system offers flexibility, performance, availability, and responsiveness to growth. In addition to providing the hardware, NetApp also assisted with installation and configuration.
With the previous storage system, students with disabilities who wanted to work on research, course work, and assignments online had to come to the Metro State campus and hope that a work station would be available through which they could access the school's online resources. Once online, they typically required assistance with configuring applications to digitize or read books and publications for them. Often no terminal was available, with a line of students waiting for the next available station. Many students had to turn around and go home.
Metro State is building on a NetApp storage foundation to give students the ability to roam and log in from any location, offering a seamless session with storage in place. With its virtualized desktop capabilities, students no longer have to travel to the campus just to access the network. Building their IT infrastructure on NetApp allows Metro State to go further, faster. The school is implementing a pilot program with 50 students from which it can conduct analytics for scaling the program to accommodate a growing number of individuals.
"With the FAS3170 system, we will be able to serve disabled students in ways that we couldn't have done before," said Kenneth Garcia, Metro State director of infrastructure services. "NetApp is making this possible through its generous donation and is also helping to implement the system to make sure we are using it to its ultimate capacity."
Once Metro State's students with disabilities are accommodated, the school plans to extend the capabilities to all of its students and faculty.
"Educational institutions are facing a wide variety of challenges when meeting the needs of their students, constantly seeking out new and innovative ways to deliver advanced learning opportunities under tight budgets," said Regina Kunkle, vice president of State and Local Government and Higher Education, NetApp. "Students with disabilities are an important part of the school's population, but they were not being as well served with the older technology. Through NetApp's Education Donation program, we were able to upgrade Metro State's storage and offer an effective solution to these students at the same time."
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About Metropolitan State College of
With nearly 24,000 students, Metro State is Colorado's leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans and enrolls the highest number of students of color among the state's four-year colleges. The College now offers master's degrees in accounting, teaching and social work. It boasts nearly 72,000 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.
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