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New Data Center Provides Real-World Experience

What is the wish of every Information Technology student?  One answer would most likely be the opportunity to “play” in their very own data center. That wish has come true at Madison College, where Network Security and System Administration program students are now able to do just that.

Madison College Data CenterMadison College instructors Mike Masino, Jon Forde and Curt Chambers are teaching in a newly designed classroom this fall. The classroom has an attached student data center, funded by Madison College.

The data center contains:

  • 28 servers
  • 15 Cisco switches
  • 2 Palo Alto firewalls
  • 4 Cisco firewalls

The new student data center is specifically designed for Information Technology students to work on their classroom labs.

Students in the Department of Labor TAACCCT 3 INTERFACE Project are the first Security program students to benefit from this unique learning environment.

Madison College Students

Madison College students Mike Eckert and Pam Snyder work on Madison College’s new data center (Photo property/courtesy of Madison College)

TAACCCT 3 INTERFACE students, Pam Snyder and Mike Eckert, believe that the new student data center provides, “a great learning opportunity,” along with, “real-world experience.”

Students work in the student data center during class and also come in on the weekends to practice.

A relatively new class in the Network Security program called “Security Design” utilizes the data center by giving students the opportunity to work on pseudo web pages. Students can test the strength and weakness of web security, thereby gauging a web page’s strength against network attacks.

The new classroom and data center have also expanded the scope of the Network Security program class “Penetration Testing.” For the System Administration program, students will experience working with physical servers in the “VCP” class.

Working on physical servers in a realistic data center environment will give students a better understanding of how a data center works – and if things don’t work, students will learn valuable troubleshooting skills.

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