EarthLink has announced that Ryan Sallee, chief information officer (CIO) of The College Network (TCN), was selected as a 2014 winner of the Frost & Sullivan Chief Information Officer Impact Award in the Cloud Computing category at the 2nd Annual ConNEXTions 2014: A Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange and CIO Impact Award Gala on February 11. The College Network, an EarthLink customer and pioneerin the online education industry, was nominated for its customized, EarthLink-designed private cloud solution that modernized TCN’s entire IT infrastructure and strengthened interdepartmental communication. 

In 2011, Sallee moved TCN to EarthLink’s efficient and reliable cloud-based solution and placed daily management of the infrastructure in the hands of the EarthLink team. The project officially completed in December 2012, with additional updates in 2013. EarthLink deployed a customized cloud hosting and dedicated server solution for TCN’s highly-scalable, replicated database that runs core business applications including customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning applications, file and utility servers, content delivery system and customer registration system.

Before virtualizing with EarthLink, Sallee’s team managed approximately 115 physical servers all connected to Storage Area Networks (SANs). EarthLink designed a customized solution that went beyond a typical disaster recovery plan and built out a business continuity structure with multi-path connectivity between The College Network’s headquarters and an EarthLink data center.

"The Infrastructure as a Service solution gives us an always-on, always-available environment," said Sallee. "This allows our internal IT team to focus less on server maintenance and more on finding new technology solutions." 

Aside from creating more bandwidth for TCN's IT team, the new EarthLink solution also provided added value to TCN's customer base, giving customers reliable access to course materials.

“We significantly upgraded our infrastructure and availability of mission-critical systems, which makes people more efficient, processes easier, data availability higher and customer satisfaction better,” Sallee remarked. 

Frost & Sullivan selected 26 world-class companies as winners of the CIO Impact Awards.  The recipients are enterprise teams and individuals enabling breakthrough new business models and strategies through the innovative use of transformative technologies. Each nominated project was entered into one of six technology-specific categories, and evaluated by a panel of expert Frost & Sullivan judges.

“Speaking on behalf of the entire EarthLink team, we could not be more pleased that Ryan Sallee and The College Network received this honor,” remarked Michael D. Toplisek, EarthLink Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Working to help such a visionary CIO achieve his goals is what EarthLink strives to do for all of our IT clients, and it’s gratifying to have such prestigious judges acknowledge the value of our work on behalf of this customer.”