UniCesumar uses Azion to innovate, reduce costs and improve students' experience with the distance learning platform by 70%

Challenge

Qualified professors, exclusive teaching materials and flexible teaching methodology are some of the components that place UniCesumar as the best distance learning in Brazil, according to the Ministry of Education, having as a differential the concern for providing high technology and building innovative solutions to enchant students.

There is a growing demand for video largely driven by 5G. It's estimated that streaming and downloading videos will represent 82% of global Internet consumption by 2022¹ . For UniCesumar, these are important scalability and performance challenges and requirements for developing a robust education platform for future generations.

Another important aspect of ensuring availability for students, staff and other stakeholders in the educational innovation ecosystem is cybersecurity. It is estimated that 60% of cyber threats target the education sector² . For example, DDoS attacks increased 278% in Q1 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, and 542% compared to Q1 2018³.

Considering these factors, UniCesumar changed its technology strategy to implement a market- leading edge solution for delivery content that exceeded the basic requirements for this new phase for UniCesumar, which will rely increasingly on digital.

Solution

After extensive research involving several suppliers, including specialists in the educational market, UniCesumar entered into a partnership with Azion, providing its technology team with native edge products designed to:

  • accelerate content delivery;
  • simplify the development of innovations;
  • facilitate the creation of secure applications; and
  • promote rapid and automated scalability.

With 90% of its student base focused on distance learning, the migration to Azion's Edge Platform was decisive for Unicesumar to accelerate technological prowess, offering the best possible experience to its students, no matter the when or where they are.

The development of edge applications to replace the old CDN services was completed in a few days and involved the implementation of the following products and modules:

  • Application Acceleration: used to accelerate multiple edge applications that integrate the EAD platform;
  • Edge Functions: to prevent leakage of specific content addressed to enrolled students, Unicesumar implemented authentication and authorization features for access to systems and content;
  • Edge Firewall: allows the university to create advanced protection rules to expand access control in real time, contributing to the availability of the teaching platform amid complex security events; and
  • Edge Caching: performs intelligent, personalized and manageable copy of didactic content on the edge, accelerating delivery performance and providing immediate speed gains, without the need for provisioning.

UniCesumar added an intermediate cache layer, Azion L2 Caching, in which content is replicated and can be made available for long periods of time, regardless of purges and caching updates.These changes maximized performance of high definition video delivery for students in Brazil and abroad.

Results

UniCesumar obtained immediate gains with Azion's Edge Application. Seventy-percent faster, the new platform has improved the user experience for students and employees. The increased efficiency in systems development – with global scale and always-on – enabled the team of experts to dramatically accelerate digital operations, resulting in:

  • decrease in infrastructure resources;
  • operational simplification; and
  • cost reduction.

Since the migration, UniCesumar, with the support of Azion’s Security Response Team (SRT) and intelligent algorithms, has maintained 100% availability of their platform and deflecting cyber attacks without impacting their service.

With a global presence, a high standard of performance in all regions of Brazil, and over 30 edge locations in the country, Azion supported UniCesumar in enhancing consistent availability and robust scalability to bring its superior offerings to all students, including students residing abroad.

“The flexibility of the platform and the availability to understand and meet our demands are great differentials of the company that lead us to wish to fully adopt other Azion products and functionalities.” Chrystiano Costa Mincoff, Executive Director of Operations at UniCesumar

About UniCesumar

UniCesumar is one of the largest educational groups in Brazil and a reference in distance learning education, with more than 700 centers across Brazil and operations abroad, covering Brazilian students residing in Miami, Dubai and Geneva.

Carrying the mission of promoting quality education in order to train great professionals, UniCesumar has as one of its essential values permanent technological innovation, which is widely used in the transmission of high-definition content with maximum performance for more than 250 thousand students.