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Singapore Polytechnic pioneers cloud computing education

Anuradha Shukla | Oct. 7, 2011
First institute of higher learning in Singapore to implement an educational cloud computing centre.

Technology industry leaders Cisco, Citrix Systems and NetApp have teamed up on developing the Singapore Polytechnic Electrical and Electronic Engineering Cloud Computing Center.

This collaboration has made Singapore Polytechnic (SP) the first educational institute in the Asia Pacific to deliver cloud computing education through an operational data centre environment. 

The new facility has been established to provide teaching staff and students in the school with on-demand, scalable, virtual computing and storage in labs.

In addition to enabling more sophisticated projects and research work, cloud computing technology will allow Singapore Polytechnic to realise cost savings, energy efficiency and dynamic scalability.

Although the resources are currently available to the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering students anywhere on campus, soon it will be accessible by all students on and outside of campus via Internet access.

"The new Singapore Polytechnic Electrical and Electronic Engineering Cloud Computing Center shows Singapore Polytechnic's commitment to innovation in education and the use of cutting edge technology to provide its students with relevant and up-to-date training to develop their skills in virtualisation, enterprise and cloud computing. Singapore Polytechnic graduates will be truly work-ready in the cloud era and be able to contribute immediately to the industry upon graduation," said Tan Hang Cheong, principal, Singapore Polytechnic.

Integrated cloud architecture

Built on integrated cloud architecture from Cisco, Citrix and NetApp, the Singapore Polytechnic Electrical and Electronic Engineering Cloud Computing Center will educate and train students to set up, manage and support data centres, virtualisation techniques and data recovery.

"Our main requirement for the new data centre is its ability to support the simultaneous startup and shutdown of a large number of computers in a short time. In our environment, this happens at least five to six times in a day, at the start and end of each class," said Steven Chew Lai Keat, senior lecturer from Singapore Polytechnic's School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering. "We worked very closely with Citrix, as well as Cisco and NetApp, to architect a solution that will achieve this for us."

The solutions at the new centre are powered by Cisco, Citrix Systems and NetApp and will deliver a unified, pre-tested, and validated shared infrastructure to the faculty and students.

These companies have enabled cloud access for teaching resources, laboratory experiments, complex projects, lecture notes and lesson materials.

Singapore Polytechnic Electrical and Electronic Engineering Cloud Computing Center will also provide students with practical experience in the management and configuration of a virtualised data centre during periods of low utilisation like school holidays.

 

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