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.