Tennessee Board of Regents
About The Tennessee Board of Regents
Managing one of the largest Higher Education Systems in the World The Tennessee Board of Regents (www.tbr.edu) is the governing body of the State University and Community College System of Tennessee. It is responsible for state universities, community colleges and the Tennessee Technology Centers. The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) oversees six universities, 13 community colleges, 26 technology centers, and a system-wide e-learning program. It is the sixth largest higher education system in the United States and their networks have to support the ITand web requirements for over 150,000 students and 13,000 full time staff.
A DNS headache
The DNS task for these institutions was managed on two old Alpha Servers running VMS and Multinet. In order to make modifications on the old system it required several procedures touching multiple servers. This required using highly skilled technical staff who were knowledgeable of the aged solution. Unfortunately, the only trained TBR technician retired and took the knowledge with him.
“Without a trained staff member to maintain the old Alpha servers it was a slow process to make modifications to our domains. Each change to a domain could take days to take place, which impacted projects, compressed time lines and reduced customer satisfaction,” explained Jon Calisi, IT Manager of Operations at TBR.
The old DNS servers used an open system and presented a potential security risk. The size of the network and the numbers of users meant that TBR clearly had to act quickly to plug this potential area for breaches.
“External DNS administration took place on antiquated servers that were not secure. We needed to urgently replace the system with one that could be managed by more junior staff in multiple locations with a much higher level of system security,” said Calisi.
DNSBOX provides a swift solution
It was apparent that the required solution was a robust, easily managed system with an intuitive interface based on a standard architecture. A simple configuration of one DNSBOX300 master and two DNSBOX100 slaves fulfilled this brief.
“The simple web driven interface has enabled domain owners to make their own changes allowing our IT staff to focus attention elsewhere,” states Calisi. The potential security risk associated with the old Alpha servers has been addressed by running the DNS on a hardened appliance solution with restricted access to the OS.
“We now have a hardened and easily managed solution not to mention the savings in space, electricity and cooling. We have had it implemented for at least six months without any downtime to our users.” declared Jon Calisi.
As a result of implementing the DNSBOX solution TBR were able to drop the maintenance for one of their Alpha servers and associated software, plus enjoy the greatly reduced “soft costs” of managing an appliance.
“We could easily associate a $10k saving a year,” announced Calisi. “However, you can’t just place dollar figures on the success of this project. The improvement in customer satisfaction cannot be seen on a cost saving analysis. It has brought tremendous value to our organization.”
“The DNSBOX is a well thought out, scalable and easy to manage solution” continued Calisi. “It exceeds all of the DNS requirements of our project. I feel like ApplianSys was very sensitive to our needs and have addressed every technical issue that I have presented to their support staff in a timely fashion.”