Microsoft Supplies Kentucky Education Dept With Cloud Computing Services

School board replaces 180 Exchange servers, estimates $6 million savings.

Microsoft Corp. said that it has supplied the Kentucky Department of Education with free, cloud-based services for some 700,000 students, faculty and staff statewide, enabling the educational organization to replace its 180 on-premise Exchange servers and save an estimated $6.3 million in operational costs over the next four years.

Department officials said that it migrated about a half million users to Microsoft's Live@edu in a single weekend, making one it of the largest and fastest deployments on record. The department encompasses 174 school districts throughout the state, consisting of 1,300 schools, about 600,000 students and some 100,000 teachers and staff.

“Between Friday and Monday, we moved over half a million students, teachers and staff to Live@edu,” said Chuck Austin, the department’s Live@edu migration product manager, in a blog post.

“Historically, it would have required months and potentially years to migrate hundreds of thousands of people to a new solution,” he said.

The department has been planning the move for nearly two years, Austin said.

Each Live@edu user has access to 10G-bytes of email storage and 25G-bytes of file storage. The cloud-based email is based on Microsoft’s Exchange Server 2010.

Austin said that in addition to cloud-based email and calendars, other services made available to Live@edu users include document collaboration and sharing, instant messaging, video chat and mobile email, accessible from Web browsers on a variety of devices.

“Live@edu has brought to the table approximately $6 million in what we call cost avoidance,” Austin said. “When you look at what it takes to upgrade a statewide enterprise platform and additionally what it costs to sustain that, it’s a great opportunity for us to avoid the cost associated with that.”

Live@edu is Microsoft’s free, hosted platform for the education market. The vendor said that more than 10,000 schools in 130 countries, comprising 11 million people worldwide, have enrolled in Live@edu.

TAGS: cloud computing,Microsoft,education,live@edu

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