Innovative IT is only possible when a stable infrastructure exists to support it. It is this infrastructure, after all, that makes it possible for people to connect, send email, store data and work together in the first place! It therefore remains an important part of our mission to provide secure and stable environment for all applications that Utrecht University employees, students, and teaching and research staff need.
As user numbers grow and our IT environment becomes more complex, our main infrastructure challenge is to ensure we can facilitate innovation without endangering stability. It’s important that we carefully anticipate future user growth, and stay on top of technical developments.
We’ve seen, for instance, a structural increase in Wi-Fi usage in recent years, reaching a record peak in 2014 of 14,000 unique users at one time. In response to trends such as these, we recently doubled our server capacity in order to provide a more stable network environment and answer the demand for more storage space. With regards to storage, we are also seeing a shift from physical storage to storage in the cloud. This is a very interesting evolution, and we are currently developing ways to provide the best of both worlds.
In the meantime, our organisation continues to develop its programme for a truly "next generation" digital environment, in which university users can work and learn anywhere, on any device, at any time. Recently, for instance, "follow me" printing facilities have been installed that enable users to pick up print jobs from any machine, anywhere in the university. Other initiatives are also underway that will take this type of environment to the next level, and make it the default way of working and studying.