IT Facilities

Introduction

P.A. College is a very forward-thinking organisation  in all areas, but especially in innovation within the space of  Information Technology (IT). We believe that IT needs to serve its users  as best as possible and to take the role of an enabler, fostering  innovation and not hindering it. In 2006, almost a year prior to the  move of P.A. College to its new premises, the Information Services  Department took the strategic decision to adopt virtualisation for use  within the new purpose-built datacenter. This provided P.A. College with  a platform to simplify datacenter operations, increase productivity by  running multiple workloads on fewer servers thus conserving significant  energy, whilst reducing future needs for physical servers. 


This also acted as a catalyst in designing,  architecting, and ultimately in 2007 deploying a Virtual Desktop  Infrastructure (VDI) production environment for the desktop needs of all  faculty, students, administrative personnel and management. The  foresight of this strategic decision effectively meant that P.A. College  had become, and to our knowledge still remains, the very first Higher  Education Institution in Cyprus that makes use of, and relies  exclusively (100%) on Desktop virtualisation. 


Video Conferencing Facilities

The dedicated video conferencing suite of P.A.  College allows users to see and hear each other, or host interactive  training sessions in real time through a dedicated high-bandwidth  internet connection. The system used by the College is designed to  connect to similar dedicated video conference systems. The system also  offers bridging to several sites and multi-point communication.


Connection from these suites to desktop systems is also feasible through our dedicated video conferencing server. 


Internet Connectivity

P.A. College is the official Point-of-Presence of  node of Cyprus' National Research and Education Network (CyNet) for the  Larnaca and Famagusta region. CyNet provides the relevant network  infrastructure for the Cypriot Research and Education Community, by  connecting all relevant educational and research institutions. The  national backbone of CyNet is connected to the European backbone GEANT2  that is a part of the worldwide community of research and education  networks. 


Through our high-speed dedicated connection to the  CyNet backbone, we are able to offer uninterrupted internet connectivity  to all of our faculty and students. 


Concluding Remarks

Back in 2006 when P.A. College first started its  journey in the Server and Desktop virtualisation space, this was still  in its embryonic stages in Cyprus; this also holds even more true for  the Higher Education sector. 


As it has already been mentioned, P.A. College is a  very forward-thinking organisation, and especially within the space of  IT. We have been the very first organisation, and also Higher Education  institution, to see the benefits of Virtualisation and to also adopt a  Virtual Desktop Infrastructure for the totality of our production  environment. 


This has helped P.A. College take a truly  user-centric approach to computing by simplifying all relevant  parameters, whilst providing the same PC-like experience, regardless of  the compatible endpoint used; a true pioneering achievement. 


Our Infrastructure is continuously upgraded and is  the cornerstone of our Private Cloud endeavours. We are also perhaps one  of the few organisations that can and will continue to invest in  Information Technology, in order to better serve our students.