University of Bahrain moves IT infrastructure applications to Amazon Web Services Cloud
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
The University of Bahrain (UoB) has reached the final stage of its process of moving the entire IT infrastructure to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. AWS is known to be the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, offering over 175 fully featured services from data centres globally. Millions of customers — including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies — are using AWS to lower costs, become more agile, and innovate faster.
Once the application transfer process is complete by the end of this year, UoB will be the largest university in the Middle East to fully move its core applications to the AWS Cloud, including Student Information Management System (SIS), Correspondence Management System (CMS), home page portal and domain subsidiary and backend systems. Moving core applications to the Cloud (AWS) provides exceptional benefits to the UoB, including reduced costs, enhanced security, accelerated project launch and implementation of new ideas.
On the other hand, through the use of AWS, the performance of the core applications is improved by more than 40%. The performance of the university’s website has also improved by more than 50%, which is the page that is used to access the subdomains and services intended for students. Other benefits that the university will get through the transition to the Cloud (AWS) include the ability to speed up research schedules for master’s and doctoral students at the university, by enabling them to access high-performance computing to quickly and effectively analyse large data sets, as well as benefit from advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and researchers can also easily share their results with collaborators in all universities around the world.
With the aim of making the transition process more smooth, UoB has invested in developing the workforce through intensive training programmes for the IT team, whose members have obtained official high-level Amazon Web Services (AWS) certificates, which gave them the skills necessary to implement this project. Cloud-based customised services provide the university’s IT teams with the ability to build secure environments while freeing up their resources to focus on students.
The move to the Cloud (AWS) is a continuation of the overall cloud computing strategy of the UoB, which it has started implementing over the past few years, and includes an increasing trend towards focusing on cloud learning for its students.
In 2017, the university joined the AWS Academy Program, a program that provides higher education institutions around the world with a customised curriculum for cloud computing.
UoB teachers who are accredited by AWS Academy provide curricula and training courses for students that include the fundamentals of AWS cloud computing technology. In 2019, UoB became the first university in the Middle East to launch the Cloud Computing Certificate in co-operation with AWS Educate, with the first batch being registered in the first semester of the 2020/2021 academic year.
In addition, in 2020, the university launched – in partnership with the Labour Fund (Tamkeen) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) – a Cloud Innovation Center (CIC), which focuses on accelerating the digital transformation of the public sector by leveraging cloud technologies to find effective solutions to realistic challenges.
UoB president Prof Dr Riyad Hamzah said: “It is important for higher education institutions to have the ability to quickly and effectively adapt to the trans- formations that our world is witnessing today. University of Bahrain has managed – through moving the IT infrastructure to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud from improving basic educational applications to provide better educational services and tools for students and teachers alike, which will undoubtedly contribute to opening a new world of opportunities to provide innovative educational solutions.”
For her part, Dr Azza El-Shennawy, Head of Education for the Middle East and North Africa at AWS, said: “The enormous potential and capabilities provided by cloud computing provide many positive benefits to the education sector, including helping to reduce expenditures and enhance levels of safety and protection, in addition to empowering universities and educational institutions.