Cloud Computing at UCSC

February 01, 2019

ITS has moved several key administrative services like the Financial Information System (FIS) and the Academic Information System (AIS) to Amazon Web Services (AWS) in order to increase system stability, uptime and to improve our resiliency in the case of disasters. The move to the cloud has the added benefit of making the campus costs more predictable as we don’t have to periodically pay large up front hardware costs. We are also the first UC campus to move services like FIS and AIS to the Cloud.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing has become a hot topic in today’s modern and technologically advanced world, as it allows us to perform critical operations without depending on bulky hardware. Cloud Computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.

UCSC in the Cloud

Since 2016, UCSC has taken part in this initiative to modernize our campus infrastructure using Amazon Web Services (AWS), which provides Cloud Computing platforms to universities. As of December 2018, ITS has been able to move physical hardware from the UCSC’s Data Center and over to the Cloud, positively impacting several enterprise applications and systems.

This was a massive effort with Kari Robertson leading the project as the manager of ITS Security and Cloud Services, along with involvement from a majority of ITS staff.

Systems include PISA, Data Warehouse, UR Banner Advancement, XFER, SSC, Grouper, JAZZEE, Campus Solutions (AIS/MyUCSC), GARP, ODS Dev, Campus Directory, FIS Banner Financials, CruzID Manager, LDAP, Shibboleth (Gold password). 


As the number of applicants increase each year, UCSC needs a way to scale to meet demand. With the use of cloud services, we are now able to scale up or down based on fluctuating demands. There are also many benefits to campus research due to this change as faculty can reduce the use of unnecessary data build-up using AWS unlike on the previously used hardware. Another benefit is that processing times are significantly reduced. Additionally, Data Centers for AWS are built carbon neutral which are much more environmentally friendly than hardware data centers.

Being the First

There has been a giant positive cultural shift as our campus is the first UC to migrate enterprise operations (FIS and AIS) to the Cloud, and ITS is looking forward to providing a better user experience with this improvement in cutting edge infrastructure future!


Article written by: Siri Bandaru