Chiba Institute of Technology (CIT) is one of the largest technology universities in Japan, with 9,500 students in its engineering, information and computer science, and social systems science faculties.
Students were encouraged to experiment with Web-based applications, and the Institute later made a variety of open source software available for download from internal servers, including Apache Web server software.
As the systems became more popular, the students began to experience capacity and performance problems. Students shared workstations in the computer room, and it was not possible to provide more than one machine to advanced students, who were unable to build and test three-tier Web applications.
They decided to deploy a solution that would enable CIT to run virtual Linux machines from Novell on VMware.
The Institute has 180 desktops running virtual SUSE Linux environments on VMware Workstation 5. There are also 61 servers running VMware ESX Server for student use, and a further 14 servers running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for DNS/LDAP/DHCP services, proxy services and backup, and to host teaching materials.
The use of virtualisation has removed the limitations imposed on students by the physical infrastructure, and has enabled CIT to give them full administrator privileges over their own environments. It has also reduced costs, allowing the Institute to replace proprietary workstations with standard Intel-architecture desktop computers.
CIT is using Novell ZENworks Linux Management to distribute patches and updates for the 180 desktops. “Novell ZENworks Linux Management substantially reduces manual workload and helps us keep our systems running optimally,” said Yukio Hirata, Chief of Information Systems Section, Chiba Institute of Technology. “Equally, the high reliability of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server keeps the administrative workload to a minimum.”