Virginia Tech IT Systems Management Environment

Leaders in a variety of fields conduct research on the Virginia Tech campus. It’s vital that the school provides its faculty with an IT systems management platform to cultivate talent and investigate academic pursuits. At the same time, Virginia Tech must provide technology infrastructure for interaction between university researchers and business, government and community organizations.

Virginia Tech remote systems management

The university division charged with making connections between Virginia Tech researchers and external organizations is the office of Outreach and International Affairs (OIA). By applying results achieved in the classroom and in the laboratory to real-world IT systems management applications, OIA helps disseminate university research around the world. To support OIA’s mission, Virginia Tech developed Outreach Information Services (OIS) to research, initiate, design, create and manage new and existing technologies and data systems.

Faced with managing a geographically disparate IT environment with a small staff, OIS needed a more efficient systems management solution to ensure systems’ health and the availability of research data on the network. OIS also needed a more reliable tool to keep track of each project and the resources the university dedicated to it.

OIA relies on several mission critical systems for day to day operations. To meet the requirement of 99.999% network uptime, OIS must provide highly reliable systems with built-in redundancies and automatic failover. A small OIS staff needs to monitor network resources and systems health, ensuring data availability and reliability. Managing a disparate computing IT systems management environment spread throughout the world to support a global client base typically requires a large IT staff extensively trained in multiple technologies. OIS, like many other IT departments within state universities, faces budgetary realities that limit its staffing options.

“We have to manage a massive, distributed, data-intensive environment that totals around three terabytes of data,” said Scott Farmer, Director, OIS. “We’re a small staff that’s stretched pretty thin. We not only have to monitor performance and ensure systems are up and running, but we have to field day to day IT requests, maintain security, protect the data and run regular backups. It’s a daunting task.”

As a result of the large environment and small staff, basic help desk issues and larger downtime-related problems took longer to resolve than the organization’s needs required. Instead of being proactive, the IT staff found itself continually on the defensive, putting out fires and trying to maintain some semblance of infrastructure reliability.

Occasionally, Farmer would have to travel hundreds of miles to resolve help desk issues, pulling him away from the office and his other duties. International travelers and facilities would have to bring or ship their systems in for service or repairs.

Complete, Automatic Remote Systems Management

OIS deployed Kaseya Enterprise Edition, an automatic and remote systems management solution that allows the IT staff to manage systems from a central location, monitoring for systems health, performance and security vulnerabilities. The solution automates basic IT tasks from a distance and provides administrators with a complete view of systems on the network, reducing the need to schedule on-site visits.

OIS deployed the Kaseya client on the organization’s desktop and laptop systems as well as 14 Intel-based servers running Windows 2003. The Kaseya remote systems management solution allows administrators to view the heterogeneous environment of nearly 250 systems as one, or they can drill down to look at each individual system.

“The Kaseya remote systems management solution is central to our day-to-day operations,” Farmer said. “It allows us to take control of any system on the network and make sure it is running properly, with the correct security patches installed.

Key Benefits of Kaseya’s Remote Systems Management Solution

  • Network administrators can remotely access any system on the network regardless of physical location
  • System availability is increased, ensuring researchers have access to the tools and data they need
  • Projects are completed faster and more accurately, resulting in clients happy with the research services provided by the university
  • Security is more robust due to consistent patch management and security updates
  • OIS is able to reprioritize IT resources to more proactive projects

As a result of streamlining IT operations through remote systems management, OIS is in a better position to manage the technology aspect of OIA’s research projects, supporting the university’s outreach mission. By automating basic IT systems management tasks and eliminating on-site visits, administrators can spend more time on proactive projects like exploring technologies that could help disseminate faculty research.

Learn more about how Kaseya’s remote systems management solution enables Virginia Tech to manage distributed IT assets easily. Download case study!

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