You probably imagine that the systems of Ministry of Education (MEC), as Sistema de Seleção Unificada (Sisu) [Unified Selection System], Programa Universidade para Todos (ProUni) [University for All Program] and Fundo de Financiamento Estudantil (Fies) [Student Financing Fund], have a big impact on the Brazilians´ lives. The fact that almost 1.8 million people enroll in Sisu 2020 endorses this affirmation. To handle the demand and the high volume of simultaneous logins in a short time, an infrastructure of huge capacity is necessary. And there is the innovation in this edition: in 2020, Sisu migrated to cloud, in order to enable more users to access the platform at the same time, in addition to adapting the portal to mobile devices and save resources that can be reinvested in quality public services.
The project is a pilot, result from a study started in 2018 by the Technology and Information Management of MEC. Already on this phase of implementation, there are positive results to present. Check out:
More users logging in the platform simultaneously: check! There was almost 3.5 million enrollments total done by almost 1.8 million applicants from all over the country. The platform received 210 thousand users at the same time. And the premiere of the platform on the cloud achieved a record: 7 thousand enrollments per minute and average of 1.5 million daily logins.
* The comparative data between 2020 and 2019 used in this article refer to the first Sisu edition every year.
Adaptation of the portal for mobile devices: check! 66% of the logins were made by means of cellphones or tablets, which assured higher mobility and agility in browsing. To have an idea, logins from mobile devices exceeded the average time of service by 19% when compared to the numbers from last year. In the computers, there was a 21% gain.
Expense savings: check! The expense reduction was approximately 84%, when we compare the values necessary to run Sisu using cloud computing in relation to own infrastructure. In cash, do you know how many million Brazilian reais will return to the public treasury? The estimative of the ministry is approximately R$ 15 million already in 2020. Until 2025, this savings may amount to R$ 25 million, a value, which is sufficient to run Sisu for approximately 8 years more without additional costs.
There is a reason for the high saved amount: the high volume of logins in the portal occurs in 12 days a year only. Upon choosing cloud, having an infrastructure capable to support that size of virtual movement in this period only reduces costs for internal infrastructure. “Seasonal systems with expressive volumes of simultaneous logins are the ones that justify the Cloud cost-benefit the most”, the general coordinator of Information Technology Services of MEC, Gustavo Guércio Fernandes, defends.
According to RNP Solutions Manager Roosevelt Benvindo, use of cloud computing, in addition to enabling cost reduction, maximizes the technological updates of a computer infrastructure. “The unlimited storage capacity, the increased security and the reduction of risks and system failures are other advantages that we can highlight and that provide a better experience to those, who use the enrollment service”, Benvindo analyzes.
According to RNP Services manager Helder Vitorino, the cloud became a simple way to store, access and share data on the internet, in addition to helping in the digital transformation process of companies and organizations. “Therefore, this transformation in Sisu is an important step to the success of education in our country”, Vitorino defends.
To be able to host so many users simultaneously, without difficulties or slow browsing, during the six days of enrollment (January 21 to 26), a resilient, elastic, scalable and safe infrastructure, which could be expanded according to the demand, was the solution found in a joint work between MEC and RNP. In addition to the platform migration, the project was an opportunity to edit, optimize and modernize the platform architecture, including the services available on cloud.
According to RNP Solution Deputy Director Antônio Carlos Nunes, RNP played a strategic role in this project, in a partnership started since the first edition of 2019. At that occasion, meeting a MEC request, RNP supported the solution of problems that impacted the performance of Sisu, still practiced in on-premises model, when it was run on computers in the Ministry´s facilities.
“Since then, a project was elaborated aiming to run the first edition of Sisu 2020 already on cloud, in an unprecedented action and testing the elasticity concepts, with growth or savings of resources in real time, security and cloud availability. The presented result changed this process, bringing financial savings, and indicated the necessary and consolidated transformation for the next editions, to the benefit of millions of students”, Nunes points out.
In 2020, although some students faced difficulty to access during the first hour after opening the enrollment due to a demand above the expectations, the computer capacity was quickly amplified and reestablished in a way not to avoid more unavailability incidents until the end of the enrollment. Successfully: the new portal remained on air 91.6% of the time.
It is worth pointing out that in the Sisu migration process to the cloud, managed by RNP in cooperation with MEC, there was technological partnership with Microsoft and RedHat, as well.
Sisu – Created in 2009, the big advantage of Sisu was the possibility for the applicants, who participated in the National High School Exam (ENEM), to compete for vacancies in different places in Brazil and abroad, with no need to travel to do uncountable tests. The system, for which there is no enrollment fee, uses the grades obtained in the national exam as a ranking mechanism for access to the public higher education institutions and enables each applicant to choose up to two courses.