Virtualization can be a tricky concept for some people to wrap their heads around. Trying to explain the functionalities and benefits of technology like VMware NSX can quickly devolve into techno-babble. With that said, we’re trying to take another approach—a more human approach. Below are three customer stories that emphasize a human-interest element behind network virtualization and showcase the power of technologies like NSX to better human lives.
NSX Powers a ‘Classroom in the Cloud’ for Illinois Students
When the technology leaders of Bloomington’s public schools started looking for a way to make advanced, enterprise-level computing and Internet services affordable to students, they went the co-op route and turned to IlliniCloud. IlliniCloud has proven to be a game-changer for a public education system in crisis. The co-op is transforming the technology infrastructures of not just Bloomington’s public school district, but every school district in Illinois with an affordable and efficient model that results in major cost savings for schools, along with upgrades in technology and aging infrastructures.
VMware is the backbone of IlliniCloud and a natural fit, according to Jason Radford, CTO of IlliniCloud: “VMware believed in the IlliniCloud. They gave us the tools that were the industry standard leader, and the ability to be operationally efficient so that we could launch all these great services that are now benefitting our schools.” Comprised of three data centers, IlliniCloud utilizes NSX for all of its network virtualization, moving functionality into software, making it easier to scale and grow and protecting student record confidentiality thanks to micro-segmentation while enabling mobility, thereby solving a systemic problem plaguing education.
In terms of student benefits, IlliniCloud provides a more comprehensive understanding of each individual student to refine the process of individualizing the delivery of education. “Teachers are now able to create systems where they can take content that is online and edit that content so that it’s specific to their children,” Kristi Sutter, Sheridan Elementary media center specialist, said. By helping IlliniCloud create a classroom in the cloud so to speak, VMware is empowering Illinois students and granting them opportunities, no matter their socioeconomic backgrounds, to receive a more tailored, comprehensive and technologically-driven education.
North Las Vegas Technologically Blossoms Through Virtualization
In 2013, the city of North Las Vegas was on the brink of financial, social and political collapse with more than $152 million in debt. Mayor John Lee stood strong against these odds and turned to VMware technology to save, and ultimately digitally transform, this city he loves so dearly through technological innovation. “I think city leadership should make decisions not based upon what everybody else thinks but do the things they think they need to do for their city,” Lee said. By virtualizing the city’s infrastructure with servers and networking through NSX, Lee did just that—he turned North Las Vegas into a thriving business center, improved city services and efficiencies and bolstered the city’s economy by billions.
“VMware has been a critical partner to us,” said Adam Cohen, the IT manager responsible for North Las Vegas’s infrastructure. “They’re not just selling their products to us; they are working hand-in-hand on these projects to make sure that we’re successful. Our vision is to virtualize just about everything we can.” And virtualize North Las Vegas has. All of the city’s software applications, including cloud-based services and applications, now run over the VMware virtualized infrastructure, facilitating more reactive responses to the needs of the city’s citizens and businesses.
VMware’s virtualized infrastructure has also helped save lives – literally – in North Las Vegas. Water is a crucial and scarce resource in desert environments. Under Mayor Lee’s leadership, the city’s water treatment plant became completely automated under the Security Control and Data Acquisition system (SCADA), which is IoT-based and run over the city’s virtualized infrastructure powered by VMware. It’s yet another example of VMware technology benefitting human lives and playing a key role in the revival and technological growth of a once dying city.
NSX Helps SugarCreek Become a Premier Food Producer
You may not be familiar with SugarCreek, but chances are good that you have definitely chowed down on one of their products before. SugarCreek is the largest privately held producer of bacon in the nation, and additionally manufactures specialty, snack and other prepared foods. SugarCreek uses advanced technology to drive its goal to be the premier producer of the highest quality raw and ready-to-eat foods, but they don’t just use technology for technology’s sake. “We focus on how the technology drives everyone toward the strategic goals of the company,” Edward Rodden, SugarCreek’s CIO, said.
VMware was proud to step up to the plate and help SugarCreek achieve its high quality and production standards. Their data center is 99 percent virtualized on VMware, and SugarCreek is doubling down on their VMware investment by adopting NSX and a software-defined data center. “We live in a dangerous world today and from a security standpoint we have to be concerned, not only with our data, but with our customers’ data as well,” Rodden said. “NSX with micro-segmentation will allow us to secure data like we never could before.” With NSX, SugarCreek now has peace-of-mind that their customers’ information is safe and secure, and that reliable virtualization technology is delivered directly to America’s heartland.