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Chico State Gains Data Center Efficiencies, Trains Students on Today’s Business Tools by Building on a NetApp Storage Foundation

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – October 29, 2012 –When California State University, Chico, began running out of hosting capacity in their systems running SAP software for the SAP University Alliance program, a consortium of universities worldwide that use SAP applications to support classroom instruction, it was time to seek out a new architecture. Chico State needed to provide better access to more products to more schools so that a larger number of students could receive the training in business processes and enterprise systems technology they needed to prepare them for today’s competitive job market.

With a donation from NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) worth more than $950,000, Chico State was able to build its hosting center on a cloud-based storage infrastructure that provided far greater capacity and a much-reduced energy footprint. As a result, the school has been able to reduce energy costs and space requirements while offering more students the opportunity to work with the market and technology leader in business management software.

Under the SAP University Alliance, Chico State and four other peer-hosting centers around the globe are able to teach their students accounting and business concepts using state-of-the-art, real-world technology in the classroom while providing the same experience for the students at other University Alliance member universities.

A member of the SAP University Alliance since 1996, Chico State began sharing its SAP expertise in 2000 by hosting other colleges. As the demand for hosting services grew, adding incrementally to a jumble of standalone servers and storage subsystems became increasingly unmanageable and was beginning to limit the program’s reach. This required Chico to refresh its data center infrastructure to include a cloud storage foundation to increase overall data center efficiencies and securely store information from a growing number of schools on a single architecture. To address this challenge, the school partnered with NetApp to build a storage solution that would house the vital SAP software and serve as the backbone for its hosting center operation.

With NetApp’s help, Chico State implemented a FlexPod® architecture that enables multiple SAP products addressing different academic needs to be rolled out quickly to meet each school’s specific requirements. Developed as a cloud infrastructure with NetApp as the storage foundation, Chico State has become a service provider for more than 140 schools in North and South America that are providing an SAP-enhanced education to 100,000 students per year. Leveraging the VCS NetApp® plug-in to the VMware control panel, Chico State can now provision SAP clients for each university customer with ease while providing enhanced system performance and integrity.

Supporting Quotes

  • Jim Sager, chair, Department of Business Information Systems, California State University, Chico:
    “As one of the most well-known and respected learning institutions in the California State University system, Chico State has to ensure that its IT infrastructure is up to date to maintain the level of service we provide to our own students, faculty, and staff and those of the universities we serve. The SAP University Alliance Program provides a great opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience with the same software used in today’s enterprise, better preparing them to enter the technology workforce. NetApp’s donation helps us reach more students as the number of those enrolled in the program continues to grow.”
  • Regina Kunkle, vice president, State and Local Government and Higher Education, NetApp:
    “Attracting more students into programs that will give them real experience for the competitive job market is one of NetApp’s key goals. Better preparing students for real-world business applications is a great outcome for the school and for the community. Our technology allows Chico State to cut costs, reduce energy use, and provide a great benefit to its students.”

Additional Details

  • Since installing the new system, the university has downsized computing hardware space by 80%, and the maximum power draw of the system means that there will be at least 60% power reduction and 70% less heat dissipation compared to the previous infrastructure.
  • With the new system in place, new university clients can be added quickly and seamlessly, giving faster turnaround so that more students have access to training on software that is so vital in today’s business world.
  • Deduplication is also critically important, because storage demands are growing rapidly.

Additional Resources

About NetApp
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Press Contacts:
Dex Polizzi
Bluetext, LLC (on behalf of NetApp)
(201) 452-7424

NetApp, the NetApp logo, Go further, faster, and FlexPod are trademarks or registered trademarks of NetApp, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other brands or products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and should be treated as such. The use of the words “partner,” “partnered,” and “partnership” does not imply a legal partnership between NetApp and any other company.