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IU's server management efforts garner VMware Innovation Award

Enterprise Infrastructure division thwarts cybercriminals through better server management and security

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University has won a 2014 VMware Innovation Award for its efforts to thwart cybercriminals through better server management and security.

VMware, a global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, announced on August 27 that IU received the VMware User Group (VMUG) Impact award for the IU Intelligent Infrastructure (IUII) program. IUII is a suite of services provided by the Enterprise Infrastructure division of University Information Technology Services (UITS). The program offers IU departments remote access to the same high-performance and high-availability hardware and security devices UITS uses to deliver mission-critical applications and services, such as student information and financial systems.

"Indiana University clearly recognizes the threat and understands that cybercriminals will target poorly managed systems as an entry point into the organization," said Dennis Cromwell, IU associate vice president for enterprise infrastructure. "The independent nature of schools and faculty in higher education creates a large threat surface and makes higher education a ripe target. The IUII was the best approach to gather the plethora of servers into an environment that can be better managed and secured."

At its core, IUII is a key component in the university’s cybersecurity risk mitigation strategy. "IU departments no longer need to run their own physical servers. Rather, the IUII does that and provides the benefits of physical security, disaster recovery, and advanced firewalls, while the departmental staff retains full control of operating systems, applications, and data," noted Troy Williams, IU manager, storage and virtualization. IUII lets staff from schools and departments request servers and storage in a cloud-like environment, provisioning over 2,200 virtual servers and 1 petabyte (PB) of data, while maintaining over 1,200 servers to support mission-critical university applications.

In addition to IU, VMware Innovation Awards went to the California Natural Resources Agency; Ministry of Education, Malaysia; SPAWAR/U.S. Navy Medicine; and TIAA-CREF IT Production Services. The winners were selected by a panel of experts from Computerworld and VMware, and were honored onstage at VMworld 2014 in San Francisco.

"The 2014 VMware Innovation Awards recognize companies that have implemented new technologies to increase collaboration and drive business innovation during the past year," said Robin Matlock, chief marketing officer, VMware. "We are incredibly excited that these organizations have embraced new business transformation technologies that are enabling them to serve their customers and partners better, faster and more efficiently than before."