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DoTS reschedules data center move

February 3, 2011

The Division of Technology Services (DoTS) data center was scheduled to move over winter break; however, due to a few mishaps, the move will have to be delayed until spring break.

“There were a couple of mistakes made by both the engineering and in the contractor’s building of the system that needed to be remedied and that would take approximately a week for them to do,” said Manager of Infrastructure and Security Technology Jason Winget. “There was also some damage that occurred to some outside equipment due to the extreme cold that we had during the testing phase which has rendered that equipment useless. And that had a delay that would take us beyond the end of J-term so we had to cancel.”

The original date that DoTS had scheduled to move was Dec. 30 through Jan. 3, but found two problems before they could move everything into the new data center.

“We found out on [Dec.] 29 that these two major components were having issues. So we made the decision then that we weren’t going to do the move,” Winget said. “But essentially we do have a majority of the construction work complete, it’s just this chilled water system that needs to be finished.”

According to Winget, the data center move not only will affect the university campus, but will also affect off campus sites like the lab farms, the Hudson Center and Discovery Center at Pigeon Lake Field Station.

“The bids for the data center and office remodeling work totaled $1,371,700,” said Senior Facilities Engineer Tim Thum. “We expect to spend approximately an additional $25,000 for minor changes and unforeseen conditions. We have an additional $190,000 budgeted for office furnishings.”

The data center move will now take place March 11-15. The service outages will begin Friday evening, March 11. Certain systems will shut down to get clean backups that will go through Saturday, March 12.  The actual move of the majority of the equipment will start at 6 a.m. Sunday, March 13. “Sunday morning is when most people will notice the wide scale outages for Internet from and to the campus. Some outages will continue through the early morning on Tuesday,” Winget said. “We do anticipate the access to the Internet to be back late on Sunday night through early Monday morning.  This will primarily affect the residence halls and any staff that work 24/7 shifts.”

DoTS expects all of the construction that is required for the move to be done by the end of February, and to be able to move in by spring break.

The new data center will provide a more reliable infrastructure and system. It is also expected to be more efficient with the new cooling pipes.

“The other thing that is going to be positive that is going to result from this is that we expect it to be a lot more energy efficient with the cooling systems. More reliable, more flexibility, better energy efficiency, reduced energy usage,” Thum said, “They are also doing the remodel of the space also to utilize the space a little differently and consolidate some of their staff and we’re going to be able to do that because of the machine rooms are going to be consolidated into one location.”

According to CTS Student Technician Emily Coulter, a new cooling system will keep the data center running smoothly, which will prevent the servers from going down.

“I think the move is a good thing,” Coulter said. “We need to keep all of these servers and all of that stuff in good condition to keep the systems in good condition and so we have a good place to put them.”

For more updates on the data center move, visit the DoTS website at http://www.uwrf.edu/DOTS/DataCenterMove.cfm