University of Maryland Strengthens IT Infrastructure to Access More Research Grants

University of Maryland

Nutanix has announced that the University of Maryland, the state’s flagship university and global leader in research, is leveraging Nutanix to deliver a secure infrastructure that will make it easier for researchers to access the IT resources needed for their projects while meeting compliance requirements for grant eligibility.

The federal government allocates billions of dollars each year to thousands of universities in the form of research and development grants and contracts. As the only major public research university inside the Washington D.C. beltway, the University of Maryland is uniquely positioned for federal partnerships and grants. This work often includes stringent data protection requirements to be met by researchers.

Because the data for the research may potentially include information from entities such as the Department of Defense (DoD), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Security Agency (NSA), the standards for receiving federal grant funding are very high. An increasing number of opportunities are contingent on compliance with the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) security standards. Therefore, the University of Maryland needed an IT solution that could quickly and securely deliver additional resources without adding IT management complexity and overhead. 

“If someone walks in and tells us that they have received a new $10 million grant, but it needs five times the infrastructure to support it, that’s a good problem to have – but only if you are ready to handle it quickly,” said Jeff McKinney, Director of Engineering IT Operations, University of Maryland. “Nutanix provides us a solution that is both secure and easy to scale, requiring a minimal amount of effort to manage. As new research grants come in, we can now add capacity with just a few clicks.”

After considering several options, the university chose a combined solution from Nutanix and Tera Insights. The Nutanix HCI platform and AHV hypervisor provide the foundation for a highly secure IT infrastructure environment, thanks to native security features like data-at-rest encryption, network microsegmentation and self-healing security configurations based on industry and DoD best practices. This platform was an ideal complement to Tera Insights tiCrypt software, which makes file sharing simple and secure through the utilization of public/private key encryption. The solutions work together seamlessly to enable a single secure platform for handling research data while significantly reducing complexity.

Additionally, the Nutanix solution helps to automate application and provisioning processes for grant-based research, offering them the ability to scale rapidly to accommodate unexpected changes and new research requests. Administrators can quickly add new resources to the platform with just a few clicks to take advantage of more research opportunities. 

“With the right IT infrastructure in place, the University of Maryland is able to size its IT resources appropriately while providing a clear pathway to scale,” said John Pellettiere, Sr. Director and Sales Leader, State, Local, Education at Nutanix. “Instead of focusing on whether or not they have the infrastructure space and security capabilities to complete the research for these grants, they can now focus on completing their research.”

To facilitate storage of research data, the University of Maryland is currently evaluating Nutanix Files to enable software-defined scale-out file storage solutions with simplified self-service management. The University of Maryland is looking forward to continuing to grow and build on its secure infrastructure to take advantage of new grant opportunities well into the future. 

Nutanix is a global leader in cloud software and a pioneer in hyperconverged infrastructure solutions, making computing invisible anywhere. Organizations around the world use Nutanix software to leverage a single platform to manage any app at any location at any scale for their private, hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

For more information click here to read the case study.