FSKM Launch Pilot Project for Hybrid Topology

The COVID-19 pandemic has projected significant changes in the global academic community where an increased dependency on online teaching can be observed. Prolonged crises and recovery episodes, forces all higher learning institutions including UiTM to explore new teaching and learning pedagogies whilst offering better technological and financial support to the student and academics community at large.

Akin to fork in the road, UiTM believes the learning journey must go on. The academics quickly adopt various learning platforms and software to ensure students are able to keep with their studies.

Students too played a proactive role by embracing the technology adoption ensuring the smoothness of ODL process With the adoption of technology and change of methods, hiccups and challenges are expected. One of the challenges faced by students and lecturers during ODL lessons is the availability of software required for certain courses. The limitations of software usage licenses require users to use the campus network. In addition, some software such as MATLAB, IBM SPSS, NVIVO, Maple, and Oracle Application Express require high-performance workstation resulting in theinaccessibility of the software by students who are not physically present on campus.

Imperative measures were taken by the Fakulti Sains Komputer dan Matematik of UiTM together with Bahagian Hal Ehwal Akademik (BHEA) and Pejabat Pembangunan Infrastruktur & Infostruktur to launch a Pilot Project for Hybrid Topology initiative.

The private cloud technology infrastructure was designed and developed by in-house experts, using open-source software such as KVM Hypervisor, GNU/Linux operating system, Grafana, Cockpit, and Prometheus. This significant effort ensures students who have access to a virtual desktop instantly running on the private cloud can now enjoy computational processes on the virtual desktop instead of their own devices. This will greatly reduce the processing load on individual’s machines making the learning experience more delightful. Students who have minimal processing capabilities on their devices will find that their learning process is more
effortless as there are less instabilities issues on their device.

Additionally, the Project for Hybrid Topology private cloud also has the ability to function as cloud storage for UiTM staff and students. This significant transformation of the information technology environment allows lecturers to host various codes and applications produced for various purposes such as Final Year Projects (FYP) end products or any innovations and ideas for competition purposes, providing greater user experience that maximizes productivity. Cloud technology undeniably offers compelling advantages. The adoption is a significant step in spearheading the culture of IR 4.0 in FSKM and UiTM at large. The university is committed in playing a profound role to ensure a streamlined cloud-services and quality education for all.