S'pore school aims to groom next-gen datacenter experts

Singapore Polytechnic unveils new data center built by Cisco, Citrix and NetApp to deliver IT resources on demand and allow students to manage a functional cloud facility.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Local tertiary institution Singapore Polytechnic (SP) is aiming to prep Singapore's next generation of datacenter specialists and to deliver IT resources on-demand to students with its new facility, named SPE3C3 (Singapore Polytechnic Electrical and Electronic Engineering Cloud Computing Center).

According to Tan Hang Cheong, principal of SP, the SPE3C3 was developed in collaboration with Cisco Systems, Citrix Systems and NetApp together with integrator PTC Systems. The project represents the first operational data center set up by an educational institute in Asia-Pacific to equip students with the latest skills in cloud computing, he claimed.

In conjunction with the launch, the institute will be offering two new elective modules--Data Center Management and System Virtualization--for students under its Diploma in Computer Engineering course. These classes will be available to students on Oct. 17 when the new school term starts, he said during the launch event on Friday.

Steven Chew, senior lecturer at SP's School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, added that both modules will each take in 40 students each per semester. This, he said, will go toward alleviating the shortage of skilled datacenter professionals in the local market as well as cut down on the time needed for on-the-job training that current graduates face once they enter the workforce.

Chew, who also attended the launch event, pointed out that graduates now take about one-and-a-half to two years to get up to speed with managing a functional data center.

Beyond just giving students first-hand experience in managing data centers, the SPE3C3 will also provide teaching staff and students in the school with on-demand, scalable, virtual computing and storage in laboratories to enable more sophisticated projects and research work, Tan stated.

While Phase 1 of the deployment will only provide IT-as-a-service to the Electrical and Electronic Engineering students on-campus, the school is looking to expand this capability by providing access to resources anytime, anywhere to the rest of its cohort in the second phase, he added.

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