Philadelphia University updates to Sun Labs

Jordan’s STS has upgraded Philadelphia University's computer laboratory facilities to a suite of Sun Ray appliances and Sun servers to provide students with an advanced computer sciences facility.

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By  Paul Barthram Published  May 29, 2003

Philadelphia University updates to Sun Labs|~||~||~|Jordan’s Philadelphia University has upgraded its computer laboratory facilities to a suite of Sun Ray appliances and Sun servers to provide students with an advanced computer sciences facility. The new environment, which was deployed by Sun’s local partner STS Jordan, provides the computer science department with an enhanced infrastructure for programming and development on a wide range of platforms.

The project includes five Sun servers and 107 Sun Ray thin client terminals, spread over five computer laboratories. The servers fulfil a wide range of functions, including Internet infrastructure, back up and databases, running Unix, Oracle databases and a range of software compilers.

On STS Jordan’s recommendation the university has also deployed Citrix Metaframe, to provide access to Windows as well Unix.

“Our ambition is to provide students with world-class facilities that will empower their research and academic work,” said Dr Adnan Badran, president of Philadelphia University. “By creating an IT environment where students enjoy enhanced performance and productivity, as well as centralised access to information, we’re achieving that objective.”

STS Jordan has a long established relationship with the privately owned university, said Lina Ayesh, division manager for Sun at STS Jordan. The company had previously supplied the university with the infrastructure for its Unix labs, mainly terminal servers and Arabised terminal emulators. When the University then wanted to update its labs, STS Jordan provided it with its first Sun-based laboratory, based on Java workstations.

“They discovered that this was an excellent solution to deploy, because of the centralised management and security it offers,” Ayesh said.

For the latest project, STS engineers and sales people were involved from the start of the project through to the deployment, which took one month.

“Philadelphia University’s decision to work with Sun was influenced largely by Sun’s open systems approach to technology, including binary compatibility, which delivers greater interoperability and investment protection for the school,” said Dr Mohamed Bettaz, dean of the IT faculty. “The implementation process was accomplished in an entirely professional manner, hitting all project targets and providing excellent support in the installation of hardware, software and system configurations.”

As a measure of Sun’s confidence in the power of the labs, students at Philadelphia University have been selected to carry out beta testing for the Arabic-enabled version of Sun’s StarOffice productivity suite.

Sun’s investment in the education sector has been very profitable for STS, according to Ayesh, with STS Group working with many government and private institutions in the country.

“Sun developed a lot of educational programmes, and we mostly began as an Internet infrastructure provider. While the education sector developed, and their requirements developed, we became involved is many other areas for them. For example we started with Jordan University for Science and Technology, with an Internet set-up. Today we are building their mission critical ERP solution using Oracle on a Sun cluster,” Ayesh added.
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