SOURCE: Scalent Systems

October 17, 2007 08:00 ET

Blackboard Wins Technology Innovation Best Practices Award

Technology Managers Forum's 2007 Best Practice Awards Program Recognizes Scalent Customer for Business Continuity, Real-Time Infrastructure Deployment

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - October 17, 2007) - Scalent Systems, Inc. customer Blackboard Inc., a leading provider of enterprise software for the education industry, has been chosen as the winner for technology innovation by the Technology Managers Forum's (TechForum) Best Practice Awards program. Blackboard's innovative data center deployment was selected to receive the award by a distinguished panel of practicing Fortune 500 information technology managers as the benchmark for successful business management of technology in large enterprises.

"TechForum's Best Practice Awards seek to recognize large scale technology projects that are not only innovative, but clearly improve the competitive advantage of the organization deploying them," said Priscilla Tate, executive director of TechForum. "Blackboard hosts applications for educational institutions all over the country and their data centers must be able to respond rapidly to demands for more capacity from their customers. Their mission is not only to host applications, they must be able to host applications in failover situations as well. The Blackboard Scalent solution was a clear winner because they deployed cutting edge server and virtualization technologies which reduced their operational costs while improving the computing capability and resilience they can offer their customers."

Blackboard, which provides enterprise software applications and related services to academic institutions around the globe, and its Application Service Provider (ASP) Services division host mission-critical applications for more than 450 educational institutions serving millions of active students and participants. Blackboard's ASP platform, which relies on Scalent's Virtual Operating Environment (V/OE) software, is designed to minimize the potential impact of any disaster, from rack power failure to the complete destruction of a data center. The Scalent V/OE solution provides Blackboard with the ability to increase their data center reliability, responsiveness, flexibility and asset utilization, further enabling rapid change at lower cost, energy and time adaptability in the data center.

Blackboard's goal is to provide near instant failure recovery, unlimited on-demand cloning, resource optimization, cross-site disaster recovery, capacity on demand, and rapid deployment. The organization achieves these results by architecting its data center with a complete hardware abstraction layer for all software that performs either automatically or via a minimum-click interface, enabling the limited number of IT staff at Blackboard to save on resources and offer better service to its customers.

"At Blackboard ASP, Scalent assists us in building a true, services oriented infrastructure. The Scalent solution allows Blackboard to quickly and easily add additional service units, provision staging and test servers and most importantly, quickly recover our client's servers from failure scenarios," said Jonas Hirshfield, director of Infrastructure Technology at Blackboard. "Scalent's V/OE software provides us with unparalleled speed and agility. Infrastructure changes that previously would have taken hours to days to address on site can now be handled in minutes, remotely -- and this real-time responsiveness has in turn enabled new business opportunities."

Organizations like Blackboard can face escalating costs and failover complexity stemming from out-of-control server sprawl, shackled server hardware and increasingly stringent regulatory requirements for business continuity which can result in a lack of IT agility and a corresponding reduction in profitability. Unlike many failover or automation solutions, Scalent V/OE software can help companies such as Blackboard to overcome these challenges by addressing the entire data center environment, enabling data center managers to radically increase flexibility and drive down the cost of infrastructure design and deployment.

"Scalent's software adds a new dimension to data center management, automation, and infrastructure virtualization by enabling real-time change: data centers can transition between different configurations -- or from powered-off bare metal to live, networked servers -- in five minutes or less, without physical intervention," said Kevin Epstein, vice president of marketing at Scalent. "We're honored to see our customers recognized for the benefits Scalent brings to business continuity, quality assurance and test arenas, and consolidated production data centers in some of the most demanding environments in the world."

For more information on Scalent V/OE, please visit www.scalent.com or call 1-866-4-Scalent.

About Blackboard

Blackboard Inc. is a leading provider of enterprise software applications and related services to the education industry. Founded in 1997, Blackboard enables educational innovations everywhere by connecting people and technology. Millions of people use Blackboard everyday at academic institutions around the globe, including colleges, universities, K-12 schools and other educational providers, as well as textbook publishers and student-focused merchants that serve education providers and their students. Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

About TechForum

Technology Managers Forum (TechForum) is a professional association for IT managers at mid-to-large corporations in the New York area. Founded in 1994, TechForum's goal is to provide a venue for effective, informative communication between Fortune 1000 technology managers and technology providers. TechForum events bring together IT customers and IT vendors in an interactive atmosphere (conferences and smaller meetings) of unedited debate and non-commercial dialogue focusing on the most current and compelling enterprise IT issues.

About Scalent Systems

Scalent Systems, Inc. is recognized in the industry as the leading provider of server repurposing software to large data centers worldwide. Scalent's V/OE software enables data centers to react in real-time to changing business needs by dynamically changing what servers are running, and how those servers are connected to network and storage. The result is a real-time infrastructure, where data centers can transition between different configurations -- or go from bare metal to live, connected servers -- in five minutes or less, without physical intervention. Using Scalent software, companies have been able to implement cost-effective solutions while reducing server counts, simplifying manageability, and increasing reliability. Many of the Fortune 1000 companies rely on Scalent to support their success, having adopted the software as an integral part of their IT operations. Scalent Systems is based in Palo Alto, with offices worldwide. Scalent's software is available globally both direct and through partners and resellers. For more details, please visit www.scalent.com or call 1-866-4-Scalent.

Scalent and the Scalent logo are trademarks of Scalent Systems, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries.

Contact Information

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