Stephen F. Austin State University readies for growth; speeds registration, adds 8X capacity and unlocks IT for strategic projects

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA), an independent public university serving 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students in Nacogdoches, Texas, implemented Oracle Exadata Database Machine to be able to improve registration and student system reliability, while staying current on hardware support.

With an Oracle Exadata quarter rack supporting SFA’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) and student information applications, the university can now support up to 2,000 concurrent users, an up to 8X capacity increase over its legacy system, with response times between three and 10 seconds – enabling students to register for classes more quickly with virtually no system bottlenecks or downtime.  


SFA also deployed a quarter rack to support a new disaster recovery data center – helping to ensure that the university’s ERP and student data is always available.


Due to vastly improved system reliability and scalability, SFA’s systems and database administration team has been able to reduce staff overtime by eliminating the need to work nights and weekends to address performance issues.  

With Oracle Exadata, the IT team can patch the operating system, switches, storage and database at one time, instead of managing a complex multi-vendor matrix of updates, which frees resources to work on strategic university projects.

Because this implementation of Oracle Exadata did not require application changes, the university completed the implementation in just five weeks, working with Oracle and Oracle PartnerNetwork member PSI to install the Exadata.  Additionally, the database administrators used their existing skills and expertise with the new system, further simplifying the upgrade.

The institution also uses Oracle WebLogic Server Enterprise Edition to support its student information system, as well as Oracle Enterprise Manager to monitor, tune and diagnose any database performance issues.