2. Cloud Computing with the USDC

2.1. What is Cloud Computing?

That’s the big question! The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines it as: ‘a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g. networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction’.

2.2. Cloud Computing with the USDC

Building on the foundation provided by the USDC, the Shared Infrastructure Services (SIS) team at OUCS is able to offer a private Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud. The University now has access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources. Specifically, we are providing an automated self-service virtual infrastructure for shared use across the University.

2.3. Your Private Cloud at the USDC

The private cloud gives you:

  • Elasticity: on-demand access to compute and storage resources.
  • High speed networking: systems on the oxford private cloud located on your college or department VLAN or on the highly available USDC data centre network.
  • Rapid deployment: purchase and provision resources in minutes not weeks.
  • Transparent costing: see the true costs of IT without power and facilities costs hidden.

2.4. Key Benefits of Cloud Computing with the USDC

  • Reduced costs: using this shared pool of configurable computing resources allows you to be less reliant upon internal systems and ultimately reduce your hardware and software expenditure.
  • Increased efficiency: the Shared Services Advisory Group estimates that shared services can generate a 20-30% cost reduction in the public sector. (Shared Services in the Higher Education Sector, Report for HEFCE by KPMG, July 2006).
  • Flexibility: you benefit from an on-demand resource which can be scaled up or down depending on your needs.

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