Many higher education institutions have moved on-premise workloads to the cloud, but for Northern Illinois University (NIU), the experience was a bit different. The NIU team was already on a journey to “lift and shift” their data to the cloud when the pandemic struck. Even though the university’s IT teams were working from home and additional bandwidth was needed to support remote learning, the NIU team was able to complete the cloud migration with the help of a trusted partner.
Nick Choban, Director of IT Services, and Ruperto Herrera, Manager of Database Services for NIU, explored their journey to the cloud in a recent webinar. Choban and Ruperto shared why NIU chose to move to the cloud, the process it took to get there, and how they forged ahead when the pandemic hit.
Ruperto shared that NIU looked to the cloud for four main reasons: cost reduction, improved reliability, scalability, and streamlined IT operations. “Our goal was to reduce operating cost and completely eliminate some on those painful, time-consuming lifecycles,” he said. “By design, cloud services are built with redundancy and tolerance and they have lots of internet bandwidth – more that is offered here in our local data centers.”
Ruperto explained that scalability, offered by the cloud, is vital in times of influx like registration, finals, or remote learning. “It allows us to scale up in a very seamless manner,” he shared. The NIU team also looked to the cloud to streamline infrastructure and reduce burdens on IT teams.
The migration was broken down into achievable milestones spanning from October 2019 to May 2020. The NIU team was able to meet these timelines, even when the pandemic began, thanks to their Oracle team. Ruperto explained that “by and large, COVID-19 did not [have] a significant impact on our timeline.” And this is because of a few key things, he explained, including having a trusted partner and following best practices.
Choban shared that this migration was the largest initiative the university has undertaken and even when staff was working from home, their Oracle team helped them push ahead to meet deadline. “Our partner never once delayed or canceled a meeting,” he concluded.
As colleges and universities look to “lift and shift” the partner they choose to accompany them on this journey directly impacts its success. Are you ready to find the right partner for your migration?
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