The Office of Information Technology (OIT) has launched a Data Center Modernization Program in order to provide the University of Minnesota with a number of significant benefits including cost savings, better security for private data, reduction of our carbon footprint, and much more.
The Data Center Modernization Program is a collection of eleven different projects, which all share the following objectives:
- modernize and secure OIT's main data center
- consolidate over 225 disparate server hosting locations down to a few sites
- virtualize 75% of servers on campus which will reduce the number of physical servers by 1,500
This program offers a number of benefits to the University:
Virtualization: Virtual hosting, a service that is now offered by OIT, allows 20 servers to be hosted on only one physical server, thus eliminating server and space requirements dramatically. Nearly 3,000 servers can now be housed in just three computing racks.
Cost Avoidance: By eliminating 1,500 physical servers, there is no need for a new 20 million dollar data center.
Reduced Costs: A potential multimillion dollar annual savings is expected for the University.
Reduced Risk: Data and equipment will be stored in a secure "lights out" facility, to physically secure computing equipment and critical and private data.
Improved Computing Uptime: These modernization efforts, including adding a new secondary site for critical applications and data, will improve uptime for applications and data hosted in OIT sites.
Green IT: The University can reduce its carbon footprint by 7,500 metric tons (900+ avg. homes) or over 700 thousand dollars per year in electricity. In addition, we can eliminate the energy and materials needed to produce 1,500 servers every four to five years, as well as the toxic waste from disposing of them.
Space Utilization: The University can reduce the number of rooms used to house servers by 99 percent, freeing up over 200 rooms on campus for other purposes.
Strategic Server Purchasing: By standardizing server models, the University will establish strategic pricing contracts with Dell, IBM, and Apple, which will be available through UMart, with the goal of reducing the number of server manufacturers on campus from over 50 down to a few.
Thus far, three of the eleven projects in the Program are complete, and the University will begin realizing the long-term benefits of virtualization and data center consolidation in the next 12-18 months. More information about this program will be available in the coming months.