Exploding data volumes within research and education increase VUB's need for connectivity
Aalst, Antwerp, Diegem, 12 December 2019 - Data center company LCL welcomes the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) as a new customer in Diegem. The VUB, in collaboration with connectivity partner Belnet, opted for LCL to provide an answer to the growing need for connectivity. The data volumes in the context of research in particular are increasing exponentially, but with this connectivity expansion the VUB also meets the increasing daily IT needs of its many students and staff.
The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is now calling on a LCL data center to improve and expand its connectivity. The university wanted to increase its available connectivity and was looking for a stable redundant connection. VUB is currently investing in the necessary IT adjustments due to the greater need for connectivity, which is likely to increase further in the future.
VUB faces two trends
There are two challenges VUB has to deal with. "On the one hand, the data volumes are exploding," says Xavier Van Moen, Chief Information Officer at VUB. “More and more data is being generated, especially in the context of research, they are kept longer and also more open to other users. In addition, education is increasingly being carried out remotely and more frequent multimedia applications are being used for this. Our network connections must therefore be able to follow in terms of performance, and be able to handle those large data volumes. "
"On the other hand, the VUB is currently growing very fast," says Van Moen. "We are one of the largest growers in the Flemish educational landscape. This year too, 15% more students registered. We cannot afford that our connectivity cannot keep up with that growth. Moreover, there are few limits on connectivity for students at the university. ”VUB is going for a 100-gigabyte connection to continue to facilitate the needs of its researchers, students and staff. The university is a leader in its domain in Belgium in that regard.
LCL focuses on customer needs instead of the commercial aspect
The VUB data center choice fell on LCL for several reasons. The LCL approach and the way in which they treat their customers is one of the most important ones. "The VUB is neither small nor huge, and the same applies to LCL," says Van Moen. “LCL is big enough to be a party you can trust. It is, among other things, a stable, high-performance and environmentally-friendly data center. At the same time, it is small enough to maintain a personal relationship with the customer. LCL does not treat its customers the way a remote data center mastodont would. "
Communication between the two organizations is going very smoothly according to the VUB and it soon became clear to them that it was LCL's priority focus to find a solution to the VUB's connectivity challenge. The contractual and commercial aspect comes second. The university greatly appreciates that.
Belnet, IT support and support from VUB
VUB cooperates with Belnet, which is also present at LCL in Diegem. By being able to physically connect to Belnet on site, the VUB avoids additional costs. Belnet is the Belgian national research and education network that provides very high bandwidth internet access to specific target groups, in particular higher education, research centers and government institutions, both federally and regionally, in Belgium. In addition, Belnet offers associated and specific value-added services in the field of Cloud, Identity, Mobility & Federation and Trust & Security. Belnet is also responsible for the BNIX platform. This is the Belgian internet node where internet providers, content providers, hosting companies and large companies in Belgium can exchange IP traffic at high speeds. There are 16 education and government organizations connected to Belnet via LCL Diegem.
Belnet also has good reasons to cooperate with LCL. In 2012, Belnet was looking for a data center partner and, as a government department, drew up specifications to find a suitable data center company. LCL turned out to offer the best value for money. That quality was evaluated on the basis of specific, strict criteria, including in relation to the number of operators present, continuity, safety and certificates obtained.
"When we had to choose a data center in 2012, LCL already scored very well in terms of security," says Dirk Haex, technical director at Belnet. “The data center, for example, was already Tier III certified. That shows that you can trust it. The fact that LCL has since obtained additional certificates has further strengthened our confidence. Security is very important for our organization, as our customers generate and exchange a lot of confidential, private or research data. Moreover, despite its growth, LCL has remained very flexible, allowing us to switch quickly if necessary. The general contacts with them are also very constructive."