Information Technology Systems and Services.
ITSS home


Technology news for UMD faculty, staff and students

ITSS Data Center Infrastructure Improvements

ITSS has implemented or begun to implement several infrastructure improvements to increase the security, availability, and reliability of our systems.

Zerto Solution

Zerto is our most recent solution to improve the virtual cluster availability and accelerate our response during disasters. Zerto will enable us to bring systems back online in seconds if they suffer a failure.

While we enjoy the low cost and management ease of virtualization, we also suffer from a side effect, the possible massive system disruption during some special events, such as storage device failures. To bring those systems back will take hours or even days. Zerto, once a server is under its protection, will be able to bring the system back up with just a few clicks.

Lab Virtualization

Lab virtualization, or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), is another method by which we try to leverage the low cost and management ease of virtualization technology and bring more business value to our IT infrastructure. Other gains include faster customer response, power consumption reduction, and increased system reliability.

We have already virtualized the three basic-access labs. The real challenge comes when we try to virtualize the six full-access labs and six partnership labs, which normally run special applications that impose high demands on graphics rendering, network traffic, and calculations. To meet these demands, three hosts designed for graphic processing have been acquired and are under intensive testing. The tests went well so far. Our plan is to finish two full-access lab virtualizations this summer and finish the remaining by Summer 2015.

Log Insight

Log Insight delivers automated log management through aggregation, analytics and search, enabling operational intelligence and enterprise-wide visibility in dynamic hybrid cloud environments. One example shows how we utilize Log Insight. During the last men's hockey season, Athletics was looking for computing power to sell thousands of the men's hockey tickets in hours. The sale went well. We installed Log Insight on the server, and we were able to monitor the server load in real time.

Besides monitoring and load balancing, we also installed Log Insight on several critical servers, so that we can spot potential security issues by examining unexpected accesses. We also hope Log Insight can help us detect patterns between unexpected system issues and system activities.