Today in part 8 or our 10 Customers in 10 Days series we take a look at The Douglas County School District, which is Colorado’s third largest school district, serving almost 70,000 students from preschool through 12th grade. The district includes 89 schools spread across an area of 850 square miles.

Douglas County School District has a small IT team tasked with a big job. The infrastructure and application environments are more dynamic every year, and security threats to schools everywhere continue to mount. The team needed a way to reduce deployment time, stop configuration drift, and better protect personally identifiable information (PII) while limiting IT headcount growth.

The IT team is cultivating a DevOps mentality and working to program the entire data center using an infrastructure-as-code approach. When a network configuration change is needed, an in-house program uses open APIs to push the configuration to the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC). Changes take effect immediately without disrupting production. Tasks that used to take a week are often completed in five minutes or less. Many routine tasks take just seconds.

In addition, A new VMware cluster was also deployed during the data center move, combining Cisco ACI with hyperconverged infrastructure. Cisco ACI gives VMware servers automated access to data center infrastructure. ACI virtual machine manager (VMM) domain integration enables the networking team to configure all connectivity policies for the VMware cluster.

Fifty percent of the applications in the VMware cluster, including critical education applications such as Infinite Campus, have migrated to application-centric operations, eliminating the need to manually configure network devices.

“We’ve taken the burden of managing VMware networking off the system engineering team’s hands, making life easier for everyone,” says Bench. “Endpoint groups (EPGs) now have names that are meaningful to VMware admins. This makes it easy to drop a server into the correct port group and get the right networking and security policies automatically.”

Learn more about that are automates infrastructure operations, and enhances security using a Data Center Anywhere approach by reading the DCSD case study.

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Dave Nentarz

Systems Architect

Americas Distribution