Kemp Technologies keeps the IT at Roskilde University in balance

Since Roskilde University first opened its doors in 1972, it has been one of Denmark's leading universities with their emphasis on interdisciplinary, problem-oriented project and teamwork. Roskilde University currently has 10,000 students and staff affiliated and educates some of Denmark's best brains.

In the spring of 2012 Roskilde University wanted to renew the IT infrastructure and an older PBX that was more than 25 years old. The new IT solution needed to support a greater integration of services and features plus Roskilde University’s connection to DeIC (Danish e-Infrastructure Cooperation), which is a 10 Gbps research network that connects the universities in Denmark.

In collaboration with Atea, Denmark's largest supplier of IT infrastructure, Roskilde University decided to replace the existing IT infrastructure and PBX with a complete new IT platform. A new server infrastructure was installed in the university's two data centers, and the older telephone systems were upgraded to a unified communications (UC) solution based on Microsoft Lync.

Through Microsoft Lync the more than 1000 employees were able to take advantage of a wide variety of new features in addition to the traditional telephony, such as telephone- and videoconferencing, sharing programs, meeting coordination, instant messaging and much more. This gave the university staff an opportunity to form new work routines based on social teamwork with greater mobility in work situations.

For the IT platform to function at its best, system reliability, performance and high availability were crucial, and the Microsoft Lync solution required a very stable connection to deliver the desired quality. A load balancing solution from Kemp Technologies was installed to prevent servers from overloading by distributing traffic effectively between servers in Roskilde University's two data centers.

"Server load balancing is an important element of the IT platform at Roskilde University. The Kemp load balancers were handpicked based on its ease of installation and use and based on our good experiences from previous solutions," says solutions specialist Carsten Godiksen from Atea.

"By adding load balancing to the IT platform, redundancy and high availability is ensured through an efficient distribution of traffic across servers. This is particularly important with the fusion of technology the IT platform is based upon, where everything is interlinked and integrated," explains Carsten Godiksen.

"The new IT platform has given us a boost with the many new features and has made our work easier and more flexible. Thus, we can use the time more efficiently and focus on servicing the students," says network engineer Mads Sinkjær Kjærgaard from Roskilde University. He continues: "The experience we have had with our Kemp LM5500 load balancers is that they have been very easy to integrate as part of our new IT platform. The load balancers are a cost-effective solution that works flawlessly."

The many new features took a little getting used to, but we quickly managed to adjust to our new situation. Today we are focusing on the many possibilities in our new IT solution. For example, we plan to integrate e-mail support through Microsoft Exchange, which our Kemp load balancing also supports. In addition, we plan to offer our 10,000 Danish and international students access to the new IT system and the many new communication features.
Mads Sinkjær Kjærgaard
Network engineer, Roskilde University

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