Cloud Services at NC State

At NC State, we continue to leverage cloud services to meet our business requirements. We have adopted a hybrid cloud strategy, based on our requirements and current investment. Our plan is to utilize our data center resources, especially in terms of our infrastructure services where it makes sense. And evaluate best in breed and requirements for other services. There are also other pragmatic considerations when making a decision, like recurring funds versus one-time funds.

Preferred Cloud Providers

The current preferred providers for cloud services are:

Agreements are in place with these providers for cloud services(terms and conditions have already been reviewed and approved).  There is also existence of ComTech managed VPN connections to these providers.

Cloud Service Objectives

  • Easy and accelerated cloud onboarding process
  • Security : authentication, secure landing zone, logging and auditing, etc
  • Consulting and best practices
  • Connectivity to Cloud providers
  • Billing and cost management

Cloud Onboarding process

Cloud services can be requested through the Cloud Service Request Form. Cloud requests usually are about consultation for a project or to onboard some project onto the cloud (or both)

History of Cloud at NC State

In 2015, there was a Cloud Services Working Group established to attempt to get a handle around the adoption of cloud technologies at NCSU. The Working Group came up with a set of Guidelines and Considerations as well as some forward-looking recommendations.  An overly-simplified set of the recommendations were:

  • Establish a group to continue their efforts over time
  • Develop a Service Catalog to avoid redundancy
  • IT governance should make some broad strategic decisions about the adoption and use of cloud services following an “Opportunistic Cloud” adoption model
  • Develop a communication plan for sharing information about cloud services

Since 2015, a number of activities progressed towards the completion of portions of these recommendations, though some were strictly operational and naturally aligned with the recommendations from the Cloud Services Working Group:

  • Increased focus on utilizing Shibboleth for SaaS authentication.
  • Inclusion of Cloud platforms in the IT Purchase Compliance process
  • Development of a Service Catalog using the ServiceNow cloud platform.
  • Extension of campus web, Shibboleth, AD, and SCCM platforms into AWS and Azure to be able to provide services should connectivity to campus go down
  • Development of the SURE environment in AWS