Cloud computing envelops EDUCAUSE talk

The 2009 EDUCAUSE higher-education technology conference in Denver Nov. 3-6 saw campus IT administrators present ways to preserve technology budgets during an economic downturn that has devastated many institutions’ operating budgets and endowments, while several vendors emphasized the value of moving campus IT to cloud computing.

The 11th annual conference drew 6,791 attendees from 47 countries, a 9-percent attendance drop from last year, but a number on par with 2006 and 2007, said Jarret Cummings, an EDUCAUSE spokesman.

“We view registration figures consistent with historic norms as a sign that institutions and corporations place a high priority on participating in the EDUCAUSE annual conference,” he said, adding that conference registration was almost identical when the show was held in Denver in 2004.

What’s more, EDUCAUSE officials said the conference had a jump in the number of exhibiting vendors showing off their latest in education technology. Cummings said there were 251 companies exhibiting at this year’s conference–a 21-percent increase from the 2008 EDUCAUSE conference in Orlando.

Many of the EDUCAUSE sessions focused on ways campus IT officials can move expensive computer infrastructure to cloud-computing networks, giving campuses enhanced storage and computing power while saving money on expensive on-campus, energy-intensive servers…

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