Customer Case Study
The Wharton School

Wharton Business School Gives High Marks to Aviatrix Software-Defined Cloud Routers


As an IT Director at the Wharton School, Antonio Vivas is one of the professionals who keep the business school’s IT infrastructure services running.

Background

When Vivas started working for the Wharton School back in 2004, all the school’s data services were housed on the Philadelphia campus. Like data centers in other large academic institutions, however, Wharton IT is in the midst of making its services accessible in the cloud — a process that began in 2010 with cloud data storage.

There are several reasons for eventually moving the entire data center operation to the cloud, Vivas says.

  • For one, it is no longer practical to house two Philadelphia-based data centers running 500+ servers when the limited space on the urban campus could be used for classrooms, and offices for faculty and staff.
  • For another, not everyone who uses Wharton IT data services is located in Philadelphia, so there is no need to keep the data center on-premises.
  • Lastly — and most important — recent technology innovations have rendered cloud-based data centers more cost-effective, secure, reliable, accessible, and easier to maintain and scale than on-prem hardware.

“We don’t have to recreate the wheel, AWS already has a comprehensive computing infrastructure we can take advantage of. So, we are able to avoid managing the hardware and now we can just manage the service and focus on helping the faculty,” says Vivas.

Wharton is looking to leverage cloud technologies to provide business continuity. “If there are problems, we would be able to fail over to another region. A major benefit of today’s cloud-based data centers is their inherent resiliency to survive any major catastrophe,” Vivas says. For Wharton, it means keeping staff, faculty, and students - undergrads, MBA and Ph.D. - connected online and productive.

Begin quotationThe Aviatrix global transit hub looked much easier and simpler to use than the others. I just had to use the GUI or the API and run things centrally and automatically – it’s a big difference over how other vendors do it. End quotation

Antonio Vivas
IT Director, The Wharton School

The Challenge

With users scattered all over the globe, there is a keen demand for virtual private cloud (VPC) connections. Before now, providing users with VPCs was not a speedy process.

When users contacted the department about VPC deployments, their requests might not be fulfilled for a week or more. In addition, there were forms to fill out, and cloud network services to be provisioned to accommodate certain requests.

As Vivas explains, “the network was owned by the central IT team. Every AWS VPC change required a network change. The best possible scenario for a turnaround time on that was one week.” When Vivas told his AWS solution architect he was looking for a way to minimize the time it took to handle VPC requests, “my rep suggested that I look at deployment options from Aviatrix as well as other leading vendors.”

After checking out the VPC videos and tutorials from different vendors, Vivas says he found that “the Aviatrix global transit hub looked much easier and simpler to use than the others. I just had to use the GUI or the API and run things centrally and automatically – it’s a big difference over how other vendors do it.”

“Unlike the other offerings, with Aviatrix we didn’t have to worry about configuring routers and gateways. It was simple,” he says.

Results Using the Aviatrix Next Generation Transit Network

The Aviatrix Next-Generation Global Transit Hub solution for AWS public cloud now simplifies the way Wharton IT enables VPCs. Instead of asking users to wait a week or longer, Aviatrix for AWS utilizes AWS APIs to attach or detach to the VPC in just minutes.

What’s more, Wharton IT is configuring the Aviatrix Controller (centralized management console) for ongoing monitoring and troubleshooting all aspects of the School’s AWS connectivity. Utilizing Aviatrix’s high availability will be an important component toward keeping their network resilient and users productive.

Next step for Wharton’s ongoing cloud migration is to set up other services like active directory in the AWS cloud, and Vivas’s team will be testing and building that deployment — using Aviatrix — in Summer 2018.

About The Wharton School

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, located in Philadelphia, is one of the most comprehensive sources of business knowledge in the world — with satellite campuses in Beijing and San Francisco, more than 235 faculty members, 96,000 alumni, and 5,000 students across 10 academic departments, 20 research centers, and more than 9,000 executive education participants annually.

Networking Use Case
Results with Aviatrix
  • Simplified Operations
  • Improved Cloud Agility
  • Built-in monitoring & Troubleshooting
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