CENIC Recognizes Project to Bring Cal State’s CMS Data Center to Silicon Valley

LA MIRADA, Calif. & BERKELEY, Calif.–()–The California State University’s Common Management Systems (CMS) Data
Center Transformation project has been selected as the recipient of the
CENIC 2018 Innovations in Networking Award for Cloud Applications. This
award is given in recognition of the significant effort required to
bring the CMS data center from Salt Lake City to its current
state-of-the-art facility in Silicon Valley, thereby enabling CSU to use
a hybrid cloud platform.

Project leader George Mansoor, Chief Information Systems Officer at the
California State University, Office of the Chancellor, will accept the
award on behalf of the numerous CSU staff who contributed to this

The CSU’s CMS program is a collaborative, systemwide effort to provide
efficient, effective, and high-quality enterprise application services
to the students, faculty, and staff across the 23-campus system. The
program supports human resources, financial services, and student
administration services with a common suite of Oracle enterprise

Since its inception, the CMS data center’s services that support the
applications had been provided by a third-party partner, Unisys, in a
private cloud environment in Salt Lake City. While this approach had
served CSU well, the evolution of public cloud service providers and
related cloud management technology presented the university with new
opportunities for increased flexibility, enhanced reliability, improved
disaster recovery, and reduced costs. To leverage these new
opportunities, CSU decided to move the CMS data center services to a
hybrid cloud environment to mesh the advantages of both private and
public cloud environments.

The new data center environment is in a state-of-the-art Unisys facility
in Silicon Valley. The Northern California location provides physical
proximity to public cloud data centers such as Amazon Web Services and
Microsoft Azure. Locating CSU’s private cloud data center resources near
several significant public cloud data centers enables the hybrid
approach. By minimizing the physical distance between the private and
public environments, CSU can operate in the private cloud on a
day-to-day basis and take advantage of the public cloud during peak
demand periods. Additionally, if the need arises to launch new data
center resources for specific projects or proof-of-concept activities,
this can be done quickly and affordably in the public cloud.

“Operating in a hybrid cloud environment will allow CSU to progress
toward the utilization of more and more public cloud resources over
time. This positions us well to leverage the benefits of the public
cloud,” says Patrick Perry, Chief Information Officer at the CSU
Chancellor’s Office.

In addition to the reliability and flexibility provided by a hybrid
cloud environment, CSU anticipates that the institution will be able to
accommodate the growth in demand for data center services in a manner
that will minimize cost. This is due to the new hybrid environment’s
ability to leverage additional resources in the public cloud to
accommodate growth instead of building up private cloud resources.

Preparations for the migration to the new data center facility in
Northern California were underway for six months. The Chancellor’s
Office ITS Enterprise Information Systems department worked closely with
its campus counterparts to get the necessary prerequisites in place, and
the migration took place over a weekend in early February 2018. The
significant planning and collaboration efforts paid off as the migration
was completed and tested 12 hours ahead of the anticipated schedule.

“The entire team worked really hard and we were so pleased with how
smoothly the transition went,” noted George Mansoor about the successful
migration. “Our ultimate measure of success was the fact that most folks
showed up to work on Monday morning at the campuses and had no idea that
anything had changed.”

The CENIC Innovations in Networking Awards are presented each year at
CENIC’s annual conference to highlight the exemplary innovations that
leverage ultra-high bandwidth networking, particularly where those
innovations have the potential to transform the ways in which
instruction and research are conducted or where they further the
deployment of broadband in underserved areas. The CENIC conference will
be held March 5 – 7, 2018, in Monterey, California.

About CENIC www.cenic.org

CENIC connects California to the world — advancing education and
research statewide by providing the world-class network essential for
innovation, collaboration, and economic growth. This nonprofit
organization operates the California Research and Education Network
(CalREN), a high-capacity network designed to meet the unique
requirements of over 20 million users, including the vast majority of
K-20 students together with educators, researchers and individuals at
other vital public-serving institutions. CENIC’s Charter Associates are
part of the world’s largest education system; they include the
California K-12 system, California Community Colleges, the California
State University system, California’s public libraries, the University
of California system, Stanford, Caltech, the Naval Postgraduate School,
and USC. CENIC also provides connectivity to leading-edge institutions
and industry research organizations around the world, serving the public
as a catalyst for a vibrant California.

About California State University’s Common Management Systems (CMS)

Common Management Systems is a CSU systemwide application project that
mandated replaces legacy administrative software with Common Human
Resources System (CHRS), Common Financial System (CFS) and Campus
Solutions (formerly known as Student Administration). The mission of the
CSU’s CMS solution is to provide efficient, effective and high-quality
service to students, faculty, and staff at all 23 campuses. CMS is an
Oracle/PeopleSoft software application, fully web-based, running on
common hardware shared by all CSUs. The CMS system has been under active
and continuous development since 1999. The first module developed was
Human Resources, followed by Financials and Student Administration. The
first campus began using the entire CMS system (Financials, Human
Resources, and Student Administration) in 2002. The system is now being
used by all campuses.

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