A 2009 assessment of IT at the university showed that U-M can save millions of dollars annually through an increased use of server virtualization and cloud-based services. Internet-based cloud computing services have the potential to revolutionize how we do our work by offering flexible and inexpensive solutions to many different computing problems. The NextGen Cloud Computing project is addressing this challenge in two phases.
One of the university's first goals is to reduce the number of physical servers in units by transitioning them to U-M's on-premise cloud services. The first phase of the NextGen Cloud Computing project focuses on transitioning physical and virtual servers to the new MiServer or MiDatabase services. MiServer and MiDatabase offer extendable, efficient and reliable cloud-based solutions to meet campus computing needs.
The next phase of U-M's long-term cloud strategy focuses on providing more external cloud services to meet campus needs. In fall 2012, a cross-campus group began evaluating public cloud providers of basic infrastructure-type services. Consisting of IT professionals from across the university, the group aims to help the university establish a strategic partnership with at least one vendor in FY13. The goal is to allow the U-M community easier access to cloud-based services at the best possible cost and with the widest set of options.