Inside CampusNexus Cloud – How It Works for Your Institution

During my public speaking engagements, I get asked some great questions about how we use Microsoft Azure in delivering our solutions to our customers. I thought I would take a quick moment to answer a few of them for a much broader audience. Let’s look at some of our top questions.

How does Campus Management Use Azure in their solutions?
Campus Management uses Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to deliver its CampusNexus solutions to customers, which was the next evolution in our products as we moved from an on-premises or Data Center model to Azure. We, however, did not want to stop there. The next step was to transition our product offerings to a Platform as a Service (PaaS) model. This created opportunities for our applications to scale in different ways. With our IaaS model, we had to scale Virtual Machines (VMs) to increase workload process, whereas with PaaS, we now can scale individual services that need the increased horsepower, which improves service delivery. We also introduced Microsoft Dynamics 365 within a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. As a result, we are able to take a more modern approach to delivering CampusNexus Engage in the cloud, and continue to use Microsoft technology to empower clients with the latest innovations and tools. As you can tell, our journey has challenged us to move from IaaS to PaaS, leveraging SaaS and serverless-based solutions to broaden our application delivery to our clients.

How does security work within the cloud?
With any discussion about technology, the question of security always arises. It is best to start with a fundamental understanding of how the hierarchy works in Azure in relation to security. You start with a Tenant which contains Subscriptions and within those subscriptions you have Resource Groups which house Resources, which are the things actually doing the work. Each Tenant is backed by  Microsoft Azure Active Directory, which provides a Roles-Based Access Control to ensure each level in the hierarchy has its own security assignment to control access to that element. We use a process that allows our applications and directories to use our client's security structure as the “source of truth” for authentication. We put security at the forefront of all our architectural decisions to not only protect the applications but our clients’ data as well.

How does Campus Management approach building solutions in the Cloud?
The cloud is an ever-evolving technology that enables the implementation and use of innovation in a rapid fashion, which means we need the ability to change or pivot to best-of-breed solutions to deliver applications. By working in a more micro-architecture front, we can pivot or change any part of our application suite with reduced downtime for our clients. We want to ensure our approach to architecting solutions allows us to expand each element of our products and not be tied to a specific technology or solution.

How does Campus Management plan for disaster recovery in the Cloud?
The cloud by nature is built for resiliency. However, you need to plan for outages. We work at providing a secondary backup structure that leverages other regions in case a region becomes unavailable. Our disaster recovery in the cloud really has no limits and we give our clients the ability to choose what best suits their needs.

How does Campus Management Protect its customers’ data?
We believe this to be one of the cornerstones of our architecture. All our data repositories use Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) and all traffic in Azure is encrypted between services. We also manage the “things” that can connect to our data repositories, as we do not allow any Azure or Client connect through the firewalls, which means we are very selective on who or what can access data. We also work at ensuring our applications only expose the minimum amount of data to our applications to complete the workload requested.

What does it take to operationalize CampusNexus Cloud solutions?
We work at leveraging smart detection and monitoring of all our applications and endpoints. This helps us triage issues quickly and efficiently even before a client may know an issue exists. Operation in Azure brings Campus Management resources to bear when issues arise.

As you can see, Campus is working hard to provide the best possible experience for our clients and their students, while keeping data and technologies secure and protected. With Azure as our enabling platform, we gain the flexibility to deliver the latest solutions and innovation as your institution’s and students’ needs evolve.

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