“There was nothing but gain."
- Ron Proschan Associate IT Director, UC Hastings College of the Law
UC Hastings Students Welcome Reliability and Accessibility with Microsoft Azure
Established in 1878, the University of California, Hastings College of Law (UC Hastings) was the first UC law school and the first law school in California. With about 1,000 students concentrated in the heart of San Francisco, UC Hastings has produced more judges than any other law school in California and continues to excel at combining their proud history with the mastery of contemporary legal doctrines, skills, and tools.
Prior to moving to Microsoft Azure, UC Hastings was hosting their website on an onsite datacenter. Located in the Civic Center in downtown San Francisco, power failures were common in their building, causing the whole school’s computing service and website to go down repeatedly. The lack of emergency accessibility or an alternative site limited the IT team’s ability to respond to emergencies and prolonged the responses to outages that occurred, causing the UC Hastings’ website to be down frequently for all the world to see.
Knowing it was necessary to transition to a more reliable, cloud-based system, UC Hastings put a special premium on moving. UC Hastings Associate IT Director, Ronald Proschan, said they began asking themselves, “Can we do this? Can we put the website in Microsoft Azure?” They reached out to SADA Systems, who had previously migrated UC Hastings’ staff and student body to Office 365 with great success. “We didn’t have the time or resources to do extensive studies,” said Proschan, and UC Hastings left much of the research and discovery process in SADA Systems’ hands to ensure that the most appropriate solution was chosen. SADA responded with an emphatic recommendation for hosting the website in Azure, and the project began.
SADA Systems strategized with the IT Team at UC Hastings and established a path to complete the project. The project moved along steadily, and involved migration of the on premise server to Azure, coordination with their CMS system vendor, and setup of Azure availability for redundancy, load balancing, and backup. Proschan affirmed that SADA Systems was “really good at getting the project to move from one step to another, really conscious of the important of the sequence, and kept it moving in a highly organized way.” In working with SADA, Proschan also mentioned that he was surprised at “how competent people were both administratively and technically.”
Results and Benefits
Azure’s impressive scalability, flexibility, and automation have proved to be a huge value-add for UC Hastings, as well as the reliability provided by the redundancy and high availability that Azure provides. Additionally, emergency access and better backups strengthened their disaster recovery system and saved UC Hasting’s IT team a lot of time and stress, and ensuring that the website is always up and running. Proschan stated, “There was no negative side, and we didn’t lose anything. It was all beneficial. In fact, we learned how to do a few things better because the technical person at SADA made some really good recommendations on things we hadn’t been doing before.”
UC Hastings’ IT team has also been able to rely on Azure’s powerful automation capabilities in order to save them time and expense spent on infrastructure maintenance. Time that had previously been spent on server updates and backups in the old system was greatly reduced, freeing up the IT team to be more productive and efficient. Proschan stated, “With SADA’s help we were able to put in somewhat more automation of some of the processes like backups. There’s been a decrease of time spent on infrastructure management.” UC Hastings is looking forward to further expanding their Azure usage and, with SADA’s help, migrating additional workloads to Azure. “Azure is much easier to expand,” said Proschan, “plus there are features that we haven’t used yet, and by getting SADA involved at this stage they will be able to get us involved in those higher, more advanced components that we just wouldn’t have had time to venture in by ourselves.”