Higher ed taps IBM’s cloud computing

IBM’s cloud-based social networking function gives URI researchers shared information about funding opportunities that could jumpstart research undertakings that aren’t yet funded.

Much of campus IT is moving to off-campus servers – boosting storage space and saving money – despite security concerns raised by educators skeptical of outsourcing data storage.

However, many in higher education are unclear about why colleges are using the technology, or exactly how their campus employs cloud resources, according to a survey conducted by Norwich University’s School of Graduate and Continuing Studies, which included responses from colleges, universities, and federal, local, and municipal government employees.

Sixty-four percent of respondents said they were confused about the differences between cloud computing and virtualization, according to the survey.

Still, optimism about cloud computing’s potential was high among respondents in education and government agencies, although few on campus supported the idea of a private cloud computing model.

Only 18 percent of higher education respondents said a private model – rather than a publicly available system – “would best meet their organization‘s needs.”

Sixty percent of higher education survey respondents said they would support the creation of a “national higher education cloud” available to all U.S. campuses. The same percentage agreed that such a cloud model would encourage “intra-institutional collaboration.”

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