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2019 VMware thought MCC’s implementation was unique enough that it asked representatives from the college to present at last year’s VMWorld conference. An executive from a New Zealand university took their approach, refined it, and implemented it in his network. “He gave us all of his notes, so we are using that as we build out or next phase,” Van Pelt said. “We are talking with him and trading ideas. That was cool for us that our tiny college in Arizona has affected the network infrastructure for a large university in New Zealand.” Van Pelt stressed that even though MCC is a small college, he has been willing to invest in training for his staff. “I had two really smart employees who got together with two really smart guys from NSX, and between the four of them they came up with a way to address a serious issue for our college,” he added. “I mean 72 hours is really not suitable for an academic environment, especially given that so many of our students are online students. We have to be up and running. A three-day recovery is not an option for us. From that perspective, if you are investing in the technology, damn sure invest in the training. I hit the lottery when Brian and Josh were learning about NSX because it really caused them to think about what we are doing and how we can do it better.” MCC also is planning to build an open VMware lab environment so that students can work on servers without worrying about breaking MCC’s network. “About half of our staff also teach at the college, including me,” Van Pelt said. “For the students it’s nice because we are teaching them about stuff we did today at work. As we build it out, they can work with it, and then when they graduate and go to job interviews, they can say they used NSX and the latest version of VMware to build environments.” David Raths is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia. Project lead Mark Van Pelt “When I arrived, we were averaging about two outages per week in terms of major systems.” 40 CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | Oct/Nov 2019 

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