A University of Greenwich Case Study of Cloud Computing: Education as a Service

A University of Greenwich Case Study of Cloud Computing: Education as a Service

Victor Chang (University of Greenwich, UK, & School of Computing and Creative Technologies, UK) and Gary Wills (University of Southampton, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3914-0.ch013
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This chapter proposes a new Supply Chain Business Model in the Education domain and demonstrates how Education as a Service (EaaS) can be delivered. The implementation at the University of Greenwich (UoG) is used as a case study. Cloud computing business models are classified into eight Business Models; this classification is essential to the development of EaaS. A pair of the Hexagon Models are used to review Cloud projects against success criteria; one Hexagon Model focuses on Business Model and the other on IT Services. The UoG case study demonstrates the added value offered by Supply Chain software deployed by private Cloud, where an Oracle suite and SAP supply chain can demonstrate supply chain distribution and is useful for teaching. The evaluation shows that students feel more motivated and can understand their coursework better.
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The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has announced Cloud Computing is increasingly attractive for research and education, and they believe there are the following five reasons for University Cloud adoption (JISC, 2011):

  • Reduce environmental and financial costs where functions are only needed for short periods.

  • Share the load when a university is working with a partner organisation so that neither organisation need develop or maintain a physical infrastructure.

  • Be flexible and pay as you go. Researchers may need to use specialised web-based software that cannot be supported by in-house facilities or policies

  • Access data centres, web applications, and services from any location.

  • Make experiments more repeatable. Write-ups of science experiments performed in the cloud can contain reference to cloud applications like a virtual machine, making the experiment easier to replicate.

The UK Universities are adopting Cloud computing, either private cloud or hybrid cloud, to save operational costs, enhance quality of service and improve efficiency (Chang et al., 2011e; JISC, 2011). Indeed, Cloud Computing offers a variety of benefits including cost-saving, agility, efficiency, resource consolidation, business opportunities and green IT (Chang et al., 2010a, 2010b, 2011b, 2011d, 2011e, 2012; Foster et al, 2008; Kagermann et al., 2011; Schubert, Jeffery and Neidecker-Lutz, 2010). As more organisations adopt Cloud, there are challenges such as security, interoperability, migration measurement of Cloud business performance (Chang et al., 2011b, 2011c, 2011d). To address these increasing requirements, a structured framework is necessary to support business needs and recommend best practice which can be adapted to different domains and platforms. Cloud Computing Business Framework (CCBF) is the proposed solution (Chang et al., 2011a, 2011b, 2011c, 2011d, 2011f). The goal is to help organisations achieve good Cloud design, deployment, and services, and deliver solutions, recommendations and case studies to businesses.

Clouds are commonly classified into Public Clouds, Private Clouds and Hybrid Clouds (Ahronovitz et al., 2010; Boss et al., 2007; Sun Microsystems, 2009). Their definitions are summarised as below:

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