Information Technology

The Data Centers and Servers Project continues to make great strides, partnering with several campus units to plan and execute consolidation of campus server rooms to central facilities. The team is currently working on consolidations in Psychology, Tippie College of Business, the Iowa Memorial Union, College of Public Health, Facilities Management, the Athletic Hall of Fame, and various other departments.

The latest project metrics to date are as follows. (Metrics are not updated until a room is fully booked for decommissioning, the remodeling plan is signed by all parties, and all IT server equipment is removed, so the tally of hours saved and servers decommissioned is actually much higher.)

  • 5,666 sq. ft. of floor space has been reclaimed by departments
  • 418 servers have been consolidated
  • 269 servers reduced, virtualized, or retired
  • 149 servers migrated to a central data center
  • ~$392,614 in yearly savings from power and mechanical expenses have been realized
  • ~5,980 staff hours are saved annually

Argon, a new high-performance computing cluster, will become available to campus in February, and the addition will contribute to the project’s headway. Several researchers will transition from their current HPC equipment to the new system; configurations are being mapped out to ensure a smooth transition.

The OneIT DCS team, ITS Research Services, and the College of Engineering IT are working on a plans to use nodes retired from the older HPC system, Helium, to teach students how to build a HPC cluster.

Also underway are plans for the Data Center Support Team to offer hard drive data destruction services for partners who move their data from smaller data centers and “co-locate” it with other UI customers in the university’s central data centers. This will help speed the process of securely and efficiently decommissioning servers that are no longer needed, which frees up space and reduces energy usage.