4 Years later…

We don’t stand still, oh no –

Already 2 years ago our Headmaster decided to focus on improvements. Pushed by the research guys we move towards private cloud. The demands from Research for “Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) was a clear message. We put our head in the air and found VMware Switzerland and Checkpoint as a committed partner. We’re able to configure any network/server/storage system with the security of the distributed virtual Firewall from Checkpoint. VMware gives us the Tools for the cloud, but wait I nearly forgot the third partner in the keyring: Cisco provided us with the Nexus 1000 technology. From now on virtual switches are configured as well known from the switches and routers Cisco IOS.

Next stage is the virtual desktop (VDI). Stay tuned.

Where all began: Hochschule Luzern – Engineering & Architecture, the new «Sun Center of Excellence»

The expectations of the industry in terms of “Enterprise Applications” from a graduated computer science student are demanding high. Leading corporations and industrial organisations such as banks, insurances and health care have increased requirements and competencies to the student.

The Bologna education reform has leaded the Hochschule Luzern – Technik & Architektur (HSLU T&A) into new ways of teaching Enterprise Technologies. The education program includes topics such as server and storage technologies as well as the corresponding software. This idea was greatly supported from Sun Microsystems. As a result of the engagement of both, the HSLU and Sun Microsystems (now Oracle), a project of this kind could be realized. The Enterprise Lab at the HSLU serves as a modern data center typically used in modern organizations.

The Enterprise Lab serves more then a first class education and training for students. As a Sun Center of Excellence in the field of Enterprise Systems and Applications the HSLU is leading applied research close to industrial concerns. Our experience is just one fingertip away, please contact us.

Technical details at a glance

In the Enterprise Lab (first stage) all hosts are equipped ether with 1 or 2 Sparc processors up to 8 GB RAM. 12 of the servers containing multi core Niagara processors. All Sparc hosts running Suns Solaris operating system. Each one is connected to 3 networks. 1) A redundant 4 GB/s Fibre Channel SAN (storage area network) fabrics implemented with latest Brocade Switches. 2) The TCP/IP traffic is switched at Gigabit speed through Ethernet VLANs. 3) The management network which purpose is to get the servers and storage ready to the configuration state defined in the VSPS (virtual server provisioning system). From now on our students are able doing lab exercises, developed here at the HSLU learning configuration, deployment and troubleshooting SAN technologies.

The current Enterprise Lab (second stage) uses a mixture of Sparc and x86 (Intel and AMD). This gives us the freedom to use nearly any Operating System including Windows and therefore build heterogeneous systems in any sense.

A complete heterogeneous system landscape puts the burden on administration. All resources in the Enterprise Lab (servers, storage and software) are under control of the VSPS system and configured dynamically for the ever changing needs according to University operations for education and research. Virtualization technologies, ether in the storage-, the server- or in the network- tier serving the major purpose of over provisioning the physical hardware.

The storage is divided into hierarchical tiers. A fast online tier with 16 TB capacities realized with Hitachi HDS 9985. The nearline storage made of cheaper SATA disks and a tape library serving as offline storage. The bootable resource sets and the user data are managed by the ILS (information lifecycle management) containing Suns hierarchical and policy based file sytem SAM-FS.

The second stage of the Enterprise Lab forced us also to look into other storage. Needing more capacity in the near line storage lead us to Oracles Comstar OpenStorage.

Enterprise Application and Technologies @ Hochschule Luzern – Engineering & Architecture

The newly conceived Bachelor degree of Information and Communication Technology offers two distinct directions: Software Systems and ICT Business Solutions.

At all levels of computer science education the Enterprise Application and Technology plays an important role. Besides student projects, final diploma projects and research projects the new lab will be of important use in many the following courses:

  • Application Development
  • Business Standard Applications
  • Enterprise Applications
  • Services & System Management
  • Data Management
  • ICT Management and Administration
  • ICT Concepts and Planning
  • ICT Strategies and Leadership