Ohio colleges and universities, K-12 schools, state and local governments, and related health care communities soon will once more be able to benefit from a unique aggregate purchasing agreement.
The renewal of a partnership between VMware and the Ohio Board of Regents will provide significant discounts on virtualization software licenses and maintenance. Over the next four years, the program is projected to generate $3 million in direct savings and $12 million in indirect savings for its partners. The products and services are being offered through the Ohio Academic Resource Network (OARnet), a member of the Ohio Board of Regents Ohio Technology Consortium, in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, the Ohio Department of Education, Management Council for Ohio Educational Computer Network and The Ohio State University.
“The government must find ways to deal with the increasing demand for services, through the development of innovative and creative ways to maximize limited resources to meet the needs of our citizens,” said Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey. “This virtualization program is designed to do just that, and will enable state and local government, and higher education and K-12 communities to continue the optimization of their IT environments.”
Virtualization allows IT departments to create a virtual environment at the workstation, server or data-center level. With this technology, they can reduce the number of physical servers or computers while still maintaining performance levels. Through virtualization, universities and schools can improve operation efficiencies, downtime and disaster recovery processes and increase their ability to respond to student and faculty needs quickly, all of which contribute to a better learning environment.
“In the state space alone, we have virtualized 33 percent of our servers over the past two years,” said Stu Davis, state chief information officer and assistant director of the Department of Administrative Services, Office of Information Technology. “This equates to more efficient management and maintenance, power and space savings and, more importantly, quicker provisioning of environments. There is much more to do and this collaborative agreement will ultimately save taxpayers’ dollars in the public sector, higher education and K-12.”
OARnet serves as the administrative arm for the program and is responsible for delivering the VMware virtualization and cloud software. This is the third virtualization-licensing program for OARnet and the Board of Regents. The first was offered from 2009-2011, and the second from 2011-2013.
“OARnet and OH-TECH are organizations that aim to serve the community through shared services – just as we do with our virtualization licensing agreement,” said Pankaj Shah, executive director of the Ohio Supercomputer Center and OARnet. “We are proud to continue our collaboration with our partners as we carry out our mission.”
The Ohio Board of Regents is the state agency that coordinates higher education in Ohio. The agency is directed by its Chancellor, who is a member of the Governor of Ohio’s cabinet. The Chancellor, with the advice of the nine-member Board of Regents, provides policy guidance to the Governor and the Ohio General Assembly, advocates for the University System of Ohio and carries out state higher education policy. For more: www.ohiohighered.org.
The Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet), a member of the Ohio Board of Regents’ Ohio Technology Consortium and located at The Ohio State University, provides technology solutions for Ohio's education, public broadcasting, health care and government communities. Since 1987, OARnet has identified and deployed shared services that reduce costs, deliver quality programs, increase productivity and improve customer service. Communities voluntarily participate in the OARnet consortium because they value these benefits and services. Ultimately, OARnet promotes community and economic development by expanding access to affordable technology. For more: www.oar.net.