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Data Centers and Servers, Year in Review 2017

Server room decommissions

  • By the close of 2017, 28 of the 32 in-scope server rooms had been consolidated into centrally managed data centers.

The project has helped departments shut down over 400 servers and reclaim nearly 7,500 square feet of floor space worth $1.3 million. Annual savings for the project exceed $850,000.

When every square foot counts, data center consolidation means valuable space

A prep area and study lounge for undergraduate chemistry lab assistants.

Chemistry department administrator Brenna Goode and Core IT Facilities manager Jerry Protheroe visit a reclaimed server room in the Chemistry Building. The department’s IT staff currently use the room as expansion and storage space.
A work room for student staff configuring computer hardware. A much-needed conference room. Expansion space to accommodate growing programs or proposed renovations. What do these facilities have in common? All once housed racks of energy-hungry servers, climate-control systems, and, in a few cases, stacks of electronic junk. Today, they’re clean, usable space on a campus where every square foot counts.

Significant savings

  • DCSC yields savings on energy, hardware, and support—especially when aging servers can be virtualized.
  • The $850,000 in annual savings includes:

Power and cooling savings: $220,858. Hardware and maintenance savings: $155,000. Staff time savings: $474,195.
  • Consolidation of systems into existing services allowed elimination of duplicate services and reinvestment of resources to support the research and teaching mission of the university.

Building relationships and shifting culture

  • The project team worked with researchers and local IT staff to review the valuable research and work being done in the facilities and determine whether the equipment that supports that research and work is a candidate for consolidation, retirement, virtualization, the cloud, replacement, or migration to a more energy-efficient space.
  • Units are now initiating server virtualizations. System administrators are taking a close look at facilities that aren’t on the project’s list to decommission.
  • The fact that system administrators are looking for opportunities to consolidate or virtualize servers, and even independently closing server rooms, is a testament to the DCSC team’s approach, results, and impact on campus culture.