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Cloud Computing

Miami-Dade Public Library System

Innovation Leader: Georgina Del Valle, Automated Services Administrator, delvalleg@mdpls.org

Problem Statement

The Library would like to offer staff remote access via the web to training information, staff work files, including critical systems, without impacting the network. Currently, VPN access is given only to selected staff to access their work files on their work PCs. In order to supply all the access necessary to the data and applications residing on servers, the Library would need to upgrade its firewall and router in order to be able to handle the volume of VPN accounts expected without impacting the network. Ideally, the Library would prefer to provide staff with secured and stable access to a web version of the critical systems without VPN.

Innovation

Technology staff worked with vendors to gather requirements and research technologies that would provide the Library with an alternative to VPN. A cloud computing architecture based on software was found that would enable access to critical applications that were not web based. The software would provide a secure web access to the applications without a VPN connection. The cloud computing architecture is not a thin client based system (CITRIX) which requires hardware and server farms to be able to provide access but rather a system that turned non-web based application into one that could be accessed securely through an internet connection from any site.

The Library would be able to gain efficiencies from having staff access data and systems remotely that were only available within the Library network. This type of cloud computing would allow staff to be located anywhere during emergencies and still be able to access critical applications and data.

Progress

Currently, Stoneware is being purchased and is expected to be implemented by the end of May 2010. The Library has been able to realize some savings as the upgrade to the firewall and the router was not necessary since VPN is not the preferred access method. PC Technician time dedicated to the PC client installation process for the critical systems is not necessary. The Library will realize these savings as soon as Stoneware is implemented. System wide staff will now be able to access their data, training and other information that was only available through the Library network at a work site from home or other location as long as there is an internet connection.