University of California, San Diego Leverages Nutanix Xi Beam for Multi-Cloud Environment

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has adopted Nutanix Xi Beam to gain visibility and control over its cloud usage and to improve compliance with government and academic regulations. The solution gives faculty and researchers the freedom to take advantage of the agility and flexibility of cloud while managing costs, minimizing risk and streamlining administrative tasks.

The classroom of today has undergone a digital transformation, and IT teams at educational institutions feel the pressure to support the latest educational-technology advancements. Often, individual groups within universities incorporate public cloud as a part of their hybrid cloud strategy. This leads to numerous, separate cloud accounts with minimal oversight. University IT teams then face challenges understanding, optimizing and managing these fast-growing services, and they require a solution that can help ensure consistency, security and efficient cost tracking for many different accounts.

UCSD faced this exact problem with over 1,100 AWS accounts and little insight into how and where these services were being used, costs and compliance capabilities. UCSD requires advanced IT capabilities supporting research at its 40,000 student institution, so it was imperative for the team to gain control over cloud operations. To respond to these challenges, the university deployed Xi Beam to achieve visibility and control over cloud usage and improve compliance.

Previously, the UCSD team had to examine invoices and rationalize all costs manually. After establishing a central clearinghouse for AWS costs, UCSD leveraged the detailed insight of Xi Beam to analyze the consumption of cloud services, as well as assign costs to the proper department, group or individual. Xi Beam now gives the UCSD IT team the capabilities it needs to address its administrative overhead. It enables deep visibility and rich analytics detailing cloud consumption patterns, along with one-click cost optimization across cloud environments. Single-dashboard visibility also allows UCSD to save a substantial amount of effort in managing cloud expenditures.

Another benefit of Xi Beam is its security compliance capabilities. As a public university, UCSD collaborates with institutions around the globe, making compliance with government regulations like FERPA and HIPAA essential. Xi Beam’s pre-built security and compliance checks help identify and remediate cloud vulnerabilities. With Xi Beam, operators can both better ensure university data is kept secure as well as eliminate the need for manual compliance checks.

“When I came to UCSD, public cloud usage was essentially the Wild West,” said Gabriel Edwards, Product Manager and Cloud Services Manager, Workplace Technology Services at UCSD. “Everybody had their own AWS accounts, some of which were tied to their personal accounts and credit cards and expensed to their department, and there was minimal oversight. Xi Beam has paid for itself by providing the insight we need to control cloud expenditures while enabling deeper security and rich compliance capabilities. It has performed well beyond our expectations, and we now feel equipped to find other places in our IT environment where we can drive more efficiencies.”

“Increasingly, large organizations such as UCSD require a simple, central platform to manage cloud services,” said John Pellettiere, Senior Director of SLED Sales in the U.S. for Nutanix. “Public cloud leaves much to be desired when it comes to sharing insights into how and where these cloud services are used, their costs and their level of security and compliance. By providing universities like UCSD — and other organizations operating within the education, government, or public sector — with complete visibility into usage costs and streamlining administrative tasks, we open up time for the IT teams to spend on projects that move the needle.”