Since 1844, Saint Mary’s College has been empowering young women with excellent academics and spiritual support. With a current enrollment of 1,664 students from 45 states and eight countries, the college boasts some 18,000 living alumnae all over the world.
In its 2010 annual survey, U.S. News & World Report ranked the college in the nation’s top 100 liberal−arts colleges.
And as the college’s IT department works diligently to equip the campus for the latest advances in educational technology, Metronet provides the bandwidth, performance, off−site backup and recovery capabilities to make it all possible.
During the fall of 2008, the State of Indiana was subsidizing last−mile connectivity as part of its promotion of iLight, a high−speed fiber optic network specifically for higher education and research in Indiana.
"Metronet comes out very close to the Saint Mary’s campus − about 24 feet away − so it just happened very easily for us," says Doug McKeown, director of systems and networks.
The "tremendous bandwidth that’s possible" allows the IT department to consider such state−of−the−art distance educational technologies as online courses and videoconferencing.
"I wouldn’t even presume to do that without Metronet," McKeown remarks. "Outside of the IT department, it’s pretty transparent. Students who are anywhere with an Internet broadband connection can access Saint Mary’s online content. No modems or dial−up connections are needed."
Indeed, all IT functions are improved with Metronet, which has brought better performance, better bandwidth, and off−site backup and recovery capabilities.
"We’re growing into it," McKeown say, explaining that the last−mile connectivity to Union Station in downtown South Bend allows the college to look beyond its own campus. "We’ve started co−location and co−hosting applications for backup and recovery. Our servers are located in Indianapolis, and if we go off the air here, business will continue. We couldn’t do that before."
That adds up to a concept that McKeown considers essential: business continuity. "We’ll be able to continue to do business even if we get hit by a tornado," he says.