IT Staff at Cal State San Marcos frequently received requests from faculty and students for academic and development environments for advanced courses. These took time to configure and provision in a secure and reproducible manner. There was a believe that IT could better serve the academic function with an automated request/provisioning toolset combining disposable virtual machines (Docker) with precongured deployment scripts (Ansible). This project required the coordination of network, firewall, and data center personnel to provide adequate and secure resources. Additional efforts included governance and administrative functions in order to ensure resources needs were met.
The long term plan was to adapt those tools to enhance day to day operations in the data center and particularly provide support for rapid deployment/fast fail development efforts. This methodology needed to flexible enough to serve in both local data center (i.e. for cybersecurity students whose research often makes them ineligible for cloud) and cloud resources.
Funds from this grant provided funding and training for data center staff, student assistant funding for testing/configuring systems, and cloud hosted resources (Amazon or Azure).
Teresa Macklin, Cal State San Marcos