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u.s. green building council LEED USGBC logo

Case Study: U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Process Moves to the Cloud

Introduction: The U. S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non-profit organization founded in 2003 to promote sustainability in the building and construction industry. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification program is the world’s most widely used green building rating system. LEED projects can be found in over 150 countries and territories worldwide, and the organization’s rapid growth has changed the face of the building industry.

The USGBC’s web platform serves as the organization’s conduit to communication with the outside world. With over 1.85 million square feet of space being certified every day, maximum uptime, security, and superior performance are integral to the LEED program and critical to the USGBC’s continuing success.

Issues to Be Resolved: USGBC had numerous issues with its networking and infrastructure. The local network had intermittent performance issues and the overall computing operation was underperforming.

The First Date: A USGBC executive met Conscious Networks founder Brent Doherty at a social event and a happenstance conversation ensued. Brent was invited to explore the performance issue, which he did in short order. That led to Conscious being invited to do a review of their network. When Conscious shared what was interfering with performance, speed and reliability they were asked to fix the issues. The relationship has continued to grow since then.

The Solutions: Conscious Networks designed, constructed, and operates USGBC’s web platform using a blended services model, including:

  • Colocation & Managed Hosting: USGBC-owned technology gear is housed in Conscious Networks’ Tier 3 data center. Unlike many providers, Conscious Networks allows a wide range of customer server preferences, without mandating a brand. Conscious Networks configures the servers with Conscious Networks’ maintaining responsibility for the security, environment, and connectivity via full-time onsite support.
  • Hybrid Cloud Solution: The Conscious Networks hosted USGBC private cloud maintains performance and security control while allowing exceptional content delivery to end-users via public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Cloudflare. All authentication information and secure data is housed in the Conscious Networks datacenter, the data is pulled from the datacenter as required and rendered via the public cloud.
  • Networking: USGBC’s private cloud connects to the Conscious Networks infrastructure. Rather than purchase and maintain network infrastructure, the USGBC has Conscious Networks spec and purchases the network equipment, which is delivered to the Conscious Networks data center, where they are installed and maintained by Conscious Networks engineers.
  • Virtual Private Network: Conscious Networks provides site-to-site Virtual Private Network (VPN), remote access VPN, remote office connections into the network, and establishes secure network access to new offices and new sites.
  • Security and Compliance: Conscious Networks manages the design of the USGBC network to meet their changing compliance requirements. Monitoring of the entire environment is provided, with a focus on avoiding problems before they occur.
  • Consulting and More: USGBC relies upon Conscious Networks to provide network design, application performance consulting, a managed backup system containing 10TB of data, patch management, monitoring, and much more.

USGBC Executive Quote: “We initially engaged Conscious Networks to help us design and institute a five-year technology plan. That was twelve years ago. Needless to say, the Conscious Networks team has withstood the test of time, and remains a valued partner and advisor in all aspects of our technology.” (Joe Diianni, VP of Technology)

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