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University of Florida Simplifies and Standardizes Network Management on Infoblox


The University of Florida (UF) is a world famous, American public research university with a long history of excellence.

Founded in 1853 in Gainesville, Florida, UF is known for its top-ranked research, academic and athletic programs, and its historical contributions to society for the “Gator Good.” UF invented Gatorade in 1965, opened the world’s most comprehensive Health Science Center in 1998, and earned 9 NCAA conference titles in 2012-2013. UF has hundreds of notable alumni, including CEO Jeff Bezos, bestselling author Michael Connley, sportscaster and TV personality Erin Andrews, retired Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Abby Wambach, Academy Award-winning actress Faye Dunaway, and many more. It’s no wonder that the University of Florida is consistently ranked among the top universities in the United States.

UF’s network infrastructure hosts over 56,000 students, over 14,000 faculty and staff, 14 academic departments, over a dozen research and education centers, and Gainesville’s largest hospital across the state of Florida.

Justin Taylor, Systems Administrator and Programmer at the University of Florida, plays an essential role on the university’s IT team. He is an experienced industry expert with many years of IT leadership and network management expertise. He is responsible for managing and reporting network usage for the entire campus, managing DNS, DHCP, and IPAM governance, and for keeping the entire network up and running at all times. Justin has become a leader in UF’s initiative to consolidate and standardize IT infrastructure in order to optimize and maximize all IT provided services and to keep all users safe and secure online.


Customer: University of Florida

Industry: Education

Location: Gainesville, Florida

Objectives: Consolidate DNS and DHCP solutions campuswide, Standardize and centralize network management, Reduce risk of outages, Increase network visibility

Results: Zero network outages or known cyber threats, Improved network management, visibility, and reporting, Better customer experience

Products: NIOS DDI

The University of Florida has been a successful and loyal Infoblox customer since 2011.


Overcoming an Urgent Risk of Outages
Prior to partnering with Infoblox almost nine years ago, the University of Florida was faced with network management and centralization challenges. Each department across campus was running its own solution for DNS and DHCP, which led to UF’s urgent need to standardize and centralize network management. The IT team needed to reduce the risk of outages and increase visibility into its network.


Standardization that Won Over 85% of IT Departments Campuswide
Once the The University of Florida successfully implemented Infoblox’s DNS, DHCP, and IPAM solution, it finally had a central location to easily manage and govern the entire network. The first step towards standardization; however, was to convince other departments to migrate off existing infrastructure onto Infoblox.

Taylor personally travelled to each department on campus to introduce them to the new NIOS DDI solution in order to understand the value of Infoblox and to migrate to the Infoblox Grid. Taylor says “Once we explained the value of Infoblox to each department, they quickly realized that all they had to do was log in and the solution sold itself.” He even took the time to create a checklist for what IT needed from each department to successfully migrate to Infoblox. Approximately, 85% of UF migrated right away while the remaining 15% is in progress.

UF is also home to Shands Cancer Hospital, which is part of the University’s health system. Shands Cancer Hospital has had a particularly positive customer experience with Infoblox. The hospital originally had a solution implemented from competing vendor BlueCat Networks. The solution was reported to lack the sustainability and network reliability it needed to manage the growing network or to keep its sensitive data secure. The hospital quickly followed suit and replaced its existing solution with NIOS DDI. “Infoblox’s solution is scalable and makes it easy to add more grid members and redundancy automatically. I was able to work with Infoblox Professional Services to design a separate, improved grid for Shands, which I can now manage and maintain easily,” Taylor recalls.


Zero Network Outages and a Newfound Cybersecurity Emphasis
By migrating off of an aging and unreliable hardware setup across the network, the University has improved network uptime almost completely, minus human error. UF has had zero network outages since implementing NIOS DDI, counting all departments across the entire campus. The University also benefits from the built-in cybersecurity features on Infoblox appliances. The University of Florida has suffered from zero known cyberthreats to date as well. As a result, cybersecurity is no longer an afterthought; rather, it is already baked into the entire solution and integrates with existing security tools.

The University of Florida continues to work with Infoblox’s professional services team to finalize remaining migrations of various UF departments. UF is also considering taking its cybersecurity to the next level with a more comprehensive hybrid security solution that will easily scale for future network growth.

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