Committee Recommends Cloud Backup For Colleges

Two recent surveys indicate that Chief Information Systems Officers in the California Community Colleges think that Cloud-Based Backup Services would be very useful at their colleges. A variety of infrastructure, regulatory and budget factors drive interest in these services.

The CCC Systemwide Architecture Committee (SAC) recently recommended to the Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Committee (TTAC) that Cloud-Based Backup Services may be a significant value add for the colleges as a systemwide offering.

The TTAC committee advises the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office on the continued development and deployment of telecommunications and educational technologies in the California Community Colleges. The SAC committee is a subcommittee of the TTAC committee, working in close coordination with TTAC to develop strategic plans, policies, implementation strategies, practices and standards regarding the systemwide implementation of IT infrastructure.

The SAC committee based its recommendation on extensive research and analysis of Cloud-Based Backup Services. In November 2011 a survey on potential cloud adoption was sent to Chief Information Systems Officers across our system by Andy Chang at the San Bernardino Community College District. With 32 Chief Information Systems Officers responding, 84 percent of respondees said that cloud backup would be very useful.

A second, detailed survey was sent out from the SAC committee to Chief Information Systems Officers to gather further information. From this survey the SAC committee found that the largest demand is in backing up ERP, email, and file services over encrypted transmission and storage to a secure data center for off-site backup and disaster recovery.

While Cloud-Based Backup Services are a mature market, providers report outstanding growth despite today's dismal economy. These backup services provide several infrastructure benefits including higher network speeds at lower prices, disk-to-disk backup and storage virutalization and tiering that also ease budget restraints.

Also, the importance of backup, restore and records retention is underscored by changes in regulatory requirements. IT departments that once insisted on doing everything internally are reacting to regulation and are now more open to outsourcing various aspects of their architectural and functional environments, especially where it allows them to work more efficiently within tighter budgets.

The SAC committee has recommended that the TTAC committee pursue a discounted systemwide offering for Cloud-Based Backup Services. The SAC committee will be discussing cloud backup as a potential offering with CENIC, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California.<>


Sandoval Chagoya is the TechEDge Managing Editor and a Project Manager for the
California Community Colleges Technology Center and the California Virtual Campus.


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