Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey stays ahead of the education curve

With a Smarter Computing framework from IBM

Published on 27-Jun-2013

"With a strong educational offering that is supported by smart IBM solutions, we can continue to stay ahead of the curve and support our students with all the information and services they need." - Pablo Romo, Director of Operations and Technological Strategy, Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey

Customer:
Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey

Industry:
Education

Deployment country:
Mexico

Solution:
Cloud Computing, Cloud & Service Management, Enabling Business Flexibility, Smarter Computing, Virtualization, Virtualization - Desktop, Virtualization - Server

Overview

Founded in 1943, Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey has been consistently ranked as one of the top private university systems in Mexico. Today, the organization serves more than 130,000 students at the high-school, undergraduate and graduate levels through four integrated institutions: Tec de Monterrey, TecMilenio, TecVirtual and TecSalud.

Business need:
To support increased demand for a wider, more flexible range of learning systems, Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey looked for a more integrated, efficient way to manage its extensive IT infrastructure.

Solution:
The organization is working with IBM to optimize its computing resources, augmenting its hardware landscape with powerful, virtualized IBM servers and integrated IBM Systems Director software.

Benefits:
Smart IBM technology provides a versatile foundation for supporting new services, helping to improve operational efficiency and boost administrative productivity.

Case Study

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Founded in 1943, Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey has been consistently ranked as one of the top private university systems in Mexico. Today, the organization serves more than 130,000 students at the high-school, undergraduate and graduate levels through four integrated institutions: Tec de Monterrey, TecMilenio, TecVirtual and TecSalud.

Meeting modern needs
The university system has established a reputation for innovation, and works continuously to enhance its educational offerings by taking advantage of the latest technology.

Pablo Romo, Director of Operations and Technological Strategy at Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey, explains: “We are always looking for ways to stay ahead of the market, and develop new offerings that can help us better serve existing students and improve our value proposition to potential students.

“Today, students are more connected than ever before and they want to be able to access information at any time, from anywhere. If we want to attract and retain this new generation of learners, we have to put the classroom in their hands so that they can work more easily. Doing so requires highly versatile, powerful IT systems that can support rapid, reliable delivery of new services, such as mobile connectivity and virtual desktops.”

As demand for a wider range of learning systems grew, so did the pressure on the university system’s existing IT resources. Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey relies on approximately 150 physical servers, which host a variety of applications and serve 31 campuses throughout Mexico. Ensuring effective management of this extensive landscape was becoming increasingly challenging for the organization’s IT team.

Improving infrastructure flexibility
Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey sought a more integrated way to manage its IT environment that would reduce demand on IT staff and enable new services to be deployed as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible. The university system approached long-time service provider IBM® Global Technology Services® for help in optimizing its computing infrastructure.

IBM worked with Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey to implement an IBM BladeCenter® H Chassis, housing seven IBM BladeCenter HS23 servers that run the IBM AIX® operating system, as well as one IBM Power® 710 server, also running IBM AIX.

The IBM servers are virtualized with IBM PowerVM® Standard Edition technology, which supports easy scaling, enabling a dynamic infrastructure that can be rapidly expanded as required. This gives the IT team the flexibility it needs to support ever-changing user needs and launch new services much faster, with minimal impact to operations.

Unified platform management
With virtualized IBM servers powering more flexible operations, Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey’s attention turned to improving management of its vast IT infrastructure. Working with IBM Systems and Technology Group Lab Services, the IT team was able to optimize its existing IBM Systems Director software. Now, IT administrators can take full advantage of the solution’s built-in automation capabilities to detect hardware failure and send a support request before issues become service-impacting.

The IT team is also using IBM Systems Director VMControl™ to simplify the management of virtual environments. This solution complements Systems Director software by bringing physical and virtual management under the control of a single interface, thereby reducing administrative complexity and cost.

Pablo Romo notes: “IBM Systems Director is really helping us to make better use of the resources that we already have on hand. We are constantly being asked to deliver faster, better services, and we have to do this with a limited budget and a fairly small team. So it is a huge boost when we can introduce technology that gives us greater flexibility and improves our efficiency.”

Gustavo Cervantes, Director of Information Technology and Supply Chain at Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey, adds: “Tools like IBM Systems Director are critical to us. They allow us to go beyond routine operations and turn technology into value. We can now free up engineers for more strategic work, such as predictive analytics, and focus on running a smarter, more innovative organization.”

Keeping students connected
For Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey, the journey to a smarter computing infrastructure is just beginning. In the future, the university system plans to collaborate with IBM on a range of new initiatives that will help to enhance learning and create a more connected educational network.

One such project will be centered on leveraging cloud computing to create a virtual computing lab. Students will be able to access virtual desktops from a range of devices, helping to turn almost any online device into a learning tool. On a single physical machine, users will be able to quickly switch between virtual, course-specific desktops that provide access to educational applications.

Foundation for future success
Moving to a more optimized, efficient IT infrastructure, underpinned by IBM Smarter Computing principles, will give Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey the flexibility it needs to support continued expansion and diversification of its educational offerings.
Pablo Romo concludes: “Innovation is in our DNA—we are always looking for new ways to bring that added value to our students, and IBM helps us to do that. With a strong educational offering that is supported by smart IBM solutions, we can continue to stay ahead of the curve and support our students with all the information and services they need.”

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
BladeCenter, BladeCenter H Chassis, BladeCenter HS23, BladeCenter JS22 Express, Power 710 Express

Software:
AIX, PowerVM, IBM Systems Director VMControl

Service:
GTS ITS Server: Server Optimization & Integration Services, STG Lab Services: BladeCenter

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM de México S.A. Alfonso Nápoles Gandara 3111 Col. Parque corporativo de Peña Blanca C.P. 01210 México D.F. Produced in Mexico May 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, AIX, BladeCenter, Global Technology Services, Power, PowerVM, Power Systems, and VMControl are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.