Special to WRAL Tech Wire

(Editor’s note: MCNC is nearing completion of the first stage of a $144 million expansion of the North Carolina Research and Education Network. Funded through $104 million in federal BTOP grants and another $40 million in matching funding from the Golden LEAF, private partners and MCNC’s Endowment, the project will be complete in 2013. To commemorate the launch and progress of the project, MCNC is celebrating “12 Days of Broadband” in a series of blog posts from Dec. 8-23. WRAL Tech Wire is publishing them.)

Day 11: North Carolina ‘races to the top’ in the cloud

The North Carolina Education Cloud (NCEdCloud) is an initiative driven out of the state’s $400 million federal Race to the Top award in 2010 that involves several “cloud” infrastructure opportunities for school districts and charter schools.

MCNC plays a valuable role in NCEdCloud as N.C. schools looks at moving into cloud-hosted infrastructure as a service.

The N.C. School Connectivity Initiative built the foundation for the NCEdCloud program both in terms of providing network infrastructure to schools and school districts and in terms of establishing a rigorous project-planning and deployment methodology.

As with all IT initiatives, the deployment of the NCEdCloud will require careful planning. MCNC is providing supportive data from all 115 school districts in North Carolina to inform good decision making on the next steps of the project regarding cloud-based services, including the use of Zscaler for content-filtering services.

NCEdCloud’s primary objective is to provide a world-class IT infrastructure as a foundational component of the North Carolina education enterprise. Read full story.

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