Southern Institute of Technology

2007 ranking: 80

Senior IS executive: Paul Jennings, IT coordinator Reports to: Infrastructure manager

Size of IS shop: 3

PCs: 622

Mobile PCs: 68

Terminals: 410

Hand-held devices: 1

Total screens: 1101

Industry: Education services

PC environment: Windows XP, HP

Server environment: Windows 2003, HP

DBMS: SQL

Address: 133 Tay Street, Invercargill

Website: www.sit.ac.nz

Key IS projects this year: Intrusion detection/firewall; server room

environment.

THE SOUTHERN INSTITUTE of Technology (SIT) offers more than 130

programmes including certificates, diplomas, degrees and post graduate

study, as well as SIT2LRN flexible learning, vocational preparation and

personal development courses. SIT has taken an innovative approach

to education, offering a Zero Fee Scheme.

SIT has around 5000 equivalent, full-time students all of whom have

access to the LAN, along with 350 full-time staff members.

Paul Jennings, IT coordinator, says SIT’s multi-media fl exible, mixedmode

delivery via a combination of educational TV (Sky, CUE), internet

access, Blackboard Learning Systems, CDROM/DVD and hard-copy

workbooks, is unique to New Zealand.

The set up is particularly suited for people who are unable to make it to a

campus for a variety of reasons including disability, geographic location or

work and family commitments. The learning environment includes up-to-date technology

and equipment, with 24-hour access to computer facilities.

An IT staff of three is supplemented by outsource partner Gen-i

Invercargill. IT functions that are outsourced include applications

development, systems and network management and help-desk.

The IT budget is divided between capital and operational

expenditure. SIT’s upgrade to a virtual server environment running

VMWare ESX Servers on an HP EVA 4000 SAN in 2006 and 2007,

has reduced the hardware costs normally associated with developing

new services.

Jennings says SIT can provision a new server or test

environment in less than four hours, without the requirement to have a

pre-approved budget for hardware.

Through server virtualisation, SIT had reduced the number of physical

servers required by more than 80 per cent in 2007 to support 30

virtual servers, running business-critical applications, on four physical

servers with load balancing abilities supported by VMotion.

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