A group of eight western Pennsylvania Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) member-institutions have selected the Three Rivers Optical Exchange (3ROX) as their commodity Internet provider and regional network administrator and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) for computing and storage resources. This new relationship will provide improved Internet access to these AICUP member institutions as well as access to a host of high performance computing resources through PSC.
“This new relationship with 3ROX opens a world of opportunities that are not readily available to an institution as small as ours,” says Terri Ballard, Director of Information Technology, La Roche College. “In addition to the economic and administrative benefits of becoming members of 3ROX, we are already thinking of how our academic programs could benefit in the future.”
The institutions in the group are Carlow University, Geneva College, Juniata College, La Roche College, Point Park University, Saint Francis University, Washington & Jefferson College and Westminster College. These schools will enjoy substantially increased bandwidth levels with 3ROX/PSC managing Web browser, email and other routine Internet access for the members’ faculty, staff and students.
“It has been very exciting to learn about the types of services and collaborative opportunities the new 3ROX Internet service agreement will bring to our small institutions,” says Anne Wood, Assistant VP and CIO, Juniata College. “It has been engaging and refreshing to work with the 8 western AICUP schools and 3ROX to understand how beneficial this partnership will be. It truly is a partnership made in the best interests of Academia.”
“This strategic alliance enhances a thriving environment of shared resources and services among higher education and K-12 institutions, 3ROX and AICUP,” adds Jeffrey Devlin, Chief Information Officer, Carlow University.
“Once the initial services are deployed, each institution will gain access to a number of other services not generally or commercially available from other Internet service providers,” says Ken Goodwin, director of advanced networking at PSC. “One advantage we can bring to these AICUP members is a very deep peering service.”
Goodwin points out that, instead of routing all their institutional traffic through their commodity Internet connections, the new service will allow it to be moved to local links, connecting directly to certain common services without consuming the AICUP members’ commodity bandwidth. Members using these services will therefore move more data without incurring the equivalent of overage charges or price premiums charged by other service providers.
Another benefit to AICUP members will be the ability to inexpensively archive large amounts of data in PSC’s Data Supercell. The Supercell is a petabyte-scale system that allows users to store data with the security of an archival system and speed of data retrieval of a local hard disk.
“The staff of PSC and 3ROX are college and university employees,” says Tim Alexander, AICUP’s vice president of finance and administration. “They know what our members do and what they need. After a short presentation in the 3ROX offices, I was completely impressed with PSC’s approach to meeting college-centric needs. I am very excited about the ways in which these services could be made available to other AICUP members and I intend to explore those options with 3ROX staff. Once they see this service portfolio, AICUP members will want to learn more.”