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Higher Education Company Focused on Students’ Services Improves Query Speeds and Reduces Backup/Recovery Time with Oracle Exadata and Oracle’s Sun ZFS Storage Appliance

Apollo Group Inc. is leveraging Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle’s Sun ZFS Storage Appliance to streamline the ERP system technology that supports student services teams at its higher education subsidiaries. Apollo Group is one of the world’s largest private education providers, offering innovative educational programs and services at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels through its subsidiaries University of Phoenix, Apollo Global, Institute for Professional Development and College for Financial Planning.

Apollo Group’s use of Oracle Engineered Systems is part of its larger work to develop new and innovative ways to deliver training and skills to help close the widening skills gap across the country. Its company’s spirit of continuous change and innovation helps better support its students.

To support its subsidiaries’ large and diverse student populations, Apollo Group needed to ensure its technology infrastructure, legacy hardware and software all perform efficiently and with minimal downtime. Apollo Group determined Oracle Engineered Systems offered the best solution for its Oracle E-Business Suite deployment, as the integrated hardware and software solutions could be launched quickly with minimal impact on the uptime of its platform.

With Oracle Exadata, Apollo Group has sped up strategic reporting by 5X, enabling business users to access key insights in about an hour, rather than waiting overnight for reports to generate. In addition, Apollo Group decided the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance could provide a high-performance, highly available and scalable storage environment for Oracle Exadata backup and recovery.

Using the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance with Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture best practices for Oracle Exadata backup and recovery, Apollo Group shrunk its backup window from more than 24 hours to less than 40 minutes for a full backup of a 4 TB database. The result: a more reliable online service for students who rely upon the integrated hardware and software solutions as part of their coursework and progress toward graduation.

The Sun ZFS Storage Appliance also enabled Apollo Group to reduce its disaster recovery time and helped reduce cloning time by one-third for its development and test environment. In addition to overall performance improvements, Oracle Exadata and the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance also provided significant savings in data center space, power and cooling.

With a solid technological foundation for application innovation supported by Oracle engineered systems, Apollo currently has plans to upgrade its applications to the latest version of the Oracle E-Business Suite.

“We’re tackling the tough questions in higher education, and focusing our time and energy on empowering adults to pursue lifelong learning in formats that fit their busy lives and match their career goals,” said Michael Sajor, Chief Information Officer, Apollo Group. “Streamlining our E-Business Suite infrastructure on Oracle engineered systems enables our student-facing teams to reduce time spent on tedious—but mission-critical – tasks, so they can focus on strategic issues that promote our goal of a better educated and prepared workforce. Apollo Group is focused on functionality, simplicity of use, speed to market and flexibility—and Oracle’s systems are helping us deliver on how we interact and serve potential and existing students.”

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