Prototype on Open-Source Storage and Server virtualization
Munambo, Kisienya M.
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Most of the SACCO industry is still in its infancy when it comes to the use of technology. This creates two major problems for SACCOs; reduced outreach (ability to reach more people) and reduced sustainability (reduced financial performance). To further understand these problems, the need for automation within SACCOs is classified into three fundamental aspects: How do SACCOs synchronize data with remote offices? How do SACCOs process and manage data at central office and remote locations? How do SACCOs reduce the potential for loss during monetary transactions? In light of the above, this research had a main objective of developing and testing an open-source infrastructure prototype that can be used to virtually host data and applications belonging to different SACCOs. The infrastructure would ensure that data and applications are accessible, secure and highly available. The research further proposed a framework for implementing the prototype that would guarantee data is synchronized in real-time and the chances of loss during monetary transactions are reduced. For purposes of standardization, the prototype was designed in-line with industry standard frameworks. The performance and functionality of the prototype were successfully tested against benchmark data collected from currently implemented off the shelf systems found in FOSA operating SACCOs. Both structured interviews and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data used for benchmarking. The data gathered was from a sample size derived from stratified purposeful sampling strategy. The open-source prototype and framework would provide a means for SACCOs and other MFls that are still using manual systems (e.g. paper based) an opportunity to enjoy benefits of automating their business processes at low cost and complexity. This dissertation also provides direction for SACCO management and IT professionals who seek to derive better retum on investment through a better conceptualization of server and storage virtualization infrastructure and a more business oriented acquisition of this technology.