John Livesay, Vice President
Infranet Technologies Group
235 Government Center Drive, Suite 200
Wilmington, NC 28403
Infranet Technologies Group helps VIF International Education prepare for explosive growth with scalable, cloud-based IT solutions
Wilmington, NC (February 27, 2015) – User traffic on VIF International Education’s Learning Center, an online professional development platform for K-12 educators, grew by more than 500 percent in one year, but its on-site IT infrastructure couldn’t keep up. Recently, Infranet Technologies Group helped VIF move to a cloud-based solution that now delivers 99.999 percent availability, and near-unlimited scalability for future user growth.
VIF builds global education programs that prepare teachers and students for success in a world connected by technology. The company’s web-based Learning Center gives educators access to tools like ready-to-use lesson plans, activities and worksheets, all searchable by grade level and subject. It also enables users to collaborate with other teachers, join discussion forums, and advance their career with professional development tools.
In late 2012, VIF’s Learning Center platform had 1,500 users. In 2013, that number exploded to 8,500. At the time, this service was running on a single on-site server that lacked power or network redundancy. Downtime and maintenance issues were frequent and disruptive.
In 2014, when VIF projected that user traffic would grow 1,000 percent and that users would be accessing the site from more than 60 countries, it became obvious that an urgent IT reassessment was needed.
“Suddenly, a system that we always treated as a cost center became part of an important revenue stream,” said Mark Otter, Chief Product Officer for VIF International Education. “We knew our current infrastructure couldn’t support our exploding user base and we needed to find a new solution, fast.”
Infranet Technologies Group, a long-time partner of VIF, stepped in to help the company evaluate possible solutions.
Together, Infranet and VIF considered a number of options, including moving the Learning Center to a colocation facility. Ultimately, it was determined that a cloud-based infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform provided better opportunities for scalability and growth. Infranet recommended VMware’s vCloud Air service based on proven performance, broad OS and application support, and built-in business continuity options.
The VMware vCloud Air platform is a secure public cloud built on the trusted VMware vSphere foundation. The service extends customers’ data centers into the cloud quickly and seamlessly, using tools and processes they already have.
“The ability to connect both VIF’s cloud and on-premise environment, and manage them with the same tools was a big differentiator,” says Mark Weaver, an IT Business Consultant at Infranet. “The easy-on, easy-off capability was a big factor too. Some of the other providers were really pushing for a three-year term, and vCloud was much more flexible.”
In October 2014, Infranet helped VIF deploy this new solution. “It was as painless as any migration I’ve ever seen at that level,” said Mark Haney, Senior Systems Engineer at VIF International.
With the Learning Center running on the vCloud Air service, Haney no longer has to maintain the physical infrastructure that delivers these mission-critical services. “I don’t have to worry about a hard drive failing,” he says. “I don’t have to worry about a power outage and I don’t have to be available 24/7. Before, the Learning Center server went down every couple of days, often late at night. Now that those systems are running in the cloud, they’re about as stable as they can get. I have more time to focus on other things.”
- Mark Otter, Chief Product Officer – VIF International Education – “Our original intent for the Learning Center was not to get to 10,000 or 12,000 users and stop. We wanted a plan for 80,000 or 100,000 users. We also needed resources that could quickly scale to meet the need. With Infranet’s help, we are now positioned to deliver the IT resources required to grow the business.”
- Mark Haney, Senior Systems Engineer – VIF International Education – “The week before we went live in the cloud, we had 180 teachers on our local server and the CPU load was over 40 percent. It was going as hard as it could go. Shortly after we went live on vCloud Air, we had a similar event. But, this time we had more than 200 teachers and the CPU load was about 10 percent. The site is just phenomenally faster. That not only makes life easier for us, it makes the user experience better for our teachers.”
About Infranet Technologies Group
Infranet Technologies Group, Inc. is a geographically boundless company that specializes in providing network and data center solutions for business critical infrastructures. Providing leading consulting and engineering services for over a decade, Infranet employs engineers who have gained credibility through their excellent service and top-notch certifications from industry-leading manufacturers such as Cisco, EMC and VMware. For more information, visit www.infranetgroup.com.
About VIF International Education
VIF International Education builds global education programs that prepare students for success in an interconnected world. For more than 25 years, educators have leveraged VIF’s professional development, curriculum, language acquisition and cultural exchange programs to generate engaging learning environments where students can excel in core curriculum as well as develop valuable 21st century skills. For more information, visit www.vifprogram.com or www.viflearn.com.