Monday, March 02, 2015

Building IT self-service at UTS in Australia

Openshift logo

Nice customer story about OpenShift Enterprise at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).

A few points worth highlighting.

They were trying to get away from the “yak shaving” that often goes on when you’re constantly setting up and tearing down development environments. "Throughout their time at the university, software engineering students work in teams to develop the full life cycle of an application, from development and testing to project management andarchitecture. Students spent a great deal of time manually configuring applications to work withnetworks and infrastructure, which distracted them from completing the actual course content.” A Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) like OpenShift is perfect for reducing this sort of unproductive activity. For example, setting up a database is a matter of clicking a button rather than go through a many step manual configuration process.

A PaaS also enables the sort of separation of concerns between admins and users/developers that I wrote about previously in “Why PaaS is such a useful abstraction.” 

The PaaS pilot also helped some UTS professors, who may wish to set up applications depending on specific requirements for the courses they teach. The OpenShift environment allows instructors to manage their own applications, while the UTS IT team can provide customization, security patches,and upgrades without the day-to-day management responsibilities they had previously.

UTS can also preconfigure chosen applications with plugins that automatically integrate into the existing infrastructure. This lets engineers and developers spend more time on innovation, while instructors and students can start their projects sooner.

Finally, OpenShift’s broad language and tools support was important as well.

“OpenShift supports a wide breadth of languages without the need for customization, which is ideal in the learning environment,” said [Manager of Systems and Application Services James] Lucas. “OpenShift also supports database platforms within the environment, letting users deploy it as part of their code with just the click of a button.”

Check out the case study. It nicely illustrates what a PaaS generally and OpenShift in particular can do for you.

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