Case Studies for Distance Learning Success

Schools that had been progressively moving toward more modern technologies and infrastructures found that they were more prepared than most to move to distance learning when the pandemic hit.

Florida Virtual School (FLVS)

Founded in 1997 as the country’s first state-wide internet-based public high school, Florida Virtual School (FLVS) now serves many more students in grades K-12.

Before the pandemic, FLVS had planned to scale from 200,000 to serve millions of students over several years. To meet fast-changing needs, the Florida Department of Education asked the school to immediately scale to serve 2.7 million students.

FLVS chose Nutanix — whose enterprise hybrid cloud platform helps both K-12 and higher education institutions provide secure access to students, teachers, and administrators — to support its database, application and security needs for learning in real-time.

The quick pivot enabled the school to provide media-rich course offerings in a secure and responsive environment. Even as the number of students increased. FLVS saw a 20% increase in application performance as measured by user experience.

Alabama A&M University

Alabama A&M University took a different but related route, choosing to move workloads from an on-prem data center to the Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure and protect them with the Xi Leap Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) solution.

This solution eliminated compliance concerns and resulted in better availability, reliability, and uptime. When COVID-19 impacted education nationwide last year, forcing students, teachers, and administrators off campus, that groundwork became invaluable.

Alabama A&M quickly adopted Nutanix Frame to help quickly switch to an online learning model where students could easily stream school applications to their computing devices remotely. The technology also provided staff access to the internal resources they needed to continue supporting students.

The university plans to share its expertise and technology with other members of the Minority Serving-Cyberinfrastructure Consortium (MS-CC), which promotes cyberinfrastructure capabilities on campuses that serve large minority populations.

This article is an excerpt from our recent report, “Distance Learning Demands Robust IT Infrastructure – Learn to Deliver Excellence.” Download the full report here.


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