Sunday, 27th September 2020

Clemson University deploys an open production-grade OpenStack virtual desktop environment

Uses open network data center switches from Edgecore and Big Cloud Fabric from Big Switch.

Ranked as 20th best national public university by U.S. News and World Report, Clemson is a science - and engineering-oriented college dedicated to teaching, research and service.


With six different colleges and more than 80 undergraduate majors and 110 graduate degree program serving over 20,000 students, Clemson's IT department has a large and complex job. In addition to providing seamless, secure connectivity and managing a range of IT applications and infrastructure, technology has been a key part of the curriculum.

Clemson specially looked for a speedy delivery of course-specific software to students by providing every student with a common virtual desktop environment, a reduced operating complexity of IT staff by allowing them to provision and sandbox applications centrally for entire classes, regardless of size, as well as build a scalable and economical solution to address current and future needs.


Solution
After the transformation to a cloud-based architecture began, Clemson put a strategy in place to leverage an SDN-based networking solution using Edgecore's open network data centers and Big Switch Network's Big Cloud Fabric (BCF) .

As the first OCP-approved 10G/40G switches, Edgecore open network switches with pre-loaded ONIE enable different network operating systems to easily run on top of the Edgecore hardware.

Big Cloud Fabric's flexible, scale-out design allowed Clemson OpenStack architects to start at the size and scale that satisfied their immediate needs while future-proofing their growth. Big Cloud Fabric leverages Edgecore Networks' 10G/40G bare-metal switches in a leaf-spine design.

The combination of the production-grade OpenStack Orchestration system successfully reduces capex/opex with Edgecore's open network hardware and BCF's SDN approach.

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