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22 June 2012 | PR 12/113

National award puts Loughborough on ‘cloud’ nine

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Loughborough University has won the ICT Initiative of the Year award at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards, for its new model of ‘hybrid cloud’ ICT provision.

More than 800 people gathered last night (21 June) at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London, for the prestigious awards ceremony, which was held in association with the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.

Now in their fourth year, the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards aim to celebrate the sector’s leadership, management, financial and business skills. They showcase the extraordinary innovation, teamwork and commercial acumen of UK higher education institutions.

Three years ago, Loughborough University was facing a choice between the cost of refurbishing its 40-year-old data centre and the risks involved in moving its IT capacity to external ‘clouds’. Instead it decided to devise a hybrid cloud, consisting of local clouds based at mini-pods at opposite ends of the campus.

The introduction of this pioneering new system yielded the University estimated savings of around £3million.

More than 200 university servers now run on the local cloud, saving more than £500,000 in IT revenue costs to date. The University’s power costs have also fallen by £100,000 and its annual carbon output has been reduced by 600 tonnes.

In the longer term the University hopes to derive its IT infrastructure services via JANET, the UK’s higher education national IT network.

One of the judges, Chris Cobb, chief operating officer and university secretary at the University of London, said Loughborough had met a challenge that many universities face. “The hybrid cloud extends the life of existing infrastructure while at the same time enabling a transition towards full cloud-based hosting,” he said.

Loughborough’s award was collected at the ceremony by Phil Richards, the University’s Director of IT.

Afterwards he said: “It was a privilege to collect the award on behalf of all those colleagues who have contributed to the initiative. We now have an agile IT platform to take Loughborough through the interesting times that lie ahead. We are pleased the judges recognised the wider applicability of our innovative hybrid cloud approach.”

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The ICT Initiative of the Year award was sponsored by SMART Technologies, a leading provider of collaboration solutions that transform the way the world works and learns.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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This page was last updated on Friday June 22, 2012 16:47