Florida State University is committing to reducing the annual utility bill by $2M/yr by implementing after-hours adjustments of cooling and heating temperatures (as well as adjustments during business hours). The university has discovered there are many rooms around campus which house departmental servers and these rooms were not designed to have separate cooling and power service independent of the rest of the building or floor. Consequently, changing building temperatures after hours may endanger expensive server technology. To accomplish the overall budget savings goal, either a department has to install independent cooling facilities (which some departments with large IT infrastructures have already done) or relocate the servers.
Information Technology Services (ITS) has for years managed a 24 by 7 raised-floor environmentally-controlled data center out at Innovation Park, in the Sliger Building. ITS maintains a large number of servers in this room and there is space available in the Sliger machine room to host departmental systems. A department may choose to take advantage of this resource and relocate their existing servers out to Innovation Park. This facility is already fully funded by the university, so there is no additional charge for this hosting service. However, ITS also can provide replacement servers on a for-fee basis utilizing virtualization technology at a price which is likely less than the cost for individual server hardware. In particular, if a server is nearing the end of its useful life, we suggest departments investigate this option as a more cost-effective option than continuing to buy individual stand-alone servers.
Some important features of the ITS server hosting service include:
- Two hosting options exist:
- Departments relocate their servers into the ITS server space. Nothing else changes, just the location of the servers. They continue to be supported by the departmental IT staff. Space is limited, so departments that have space-efficient servers (e.g., rack mounted) will be a better “fit” than standalone systems. The servers will benefit from redundant power (UPS and generator), cooling, and network connections. The cost to move depends on the size and configuration of the department’s servers.
- Or, as mentioned above, departments can choose to retire existing servers and utilize the aforementioned ITS virtual server option.ITS offers virtual machines running many variants of Microsoft Windows as well as Redhat Enterprise Linux. For pricing information, please see Server Hosting under Computing within the ITS Services Catalog.
- Departmental IT staff would have 24 by 7 access to their systems via an FSUCard swipe security system and enjoy secure network access to the consoles of their servers via an IP-based KVM switch. ITS has managed remote systems for years and except for the occasional on-site visit, remote access of servers is very viable.
- Through the power of VLANs and the high speed (10 Gb) FSU backbone, departmental servers can be configured to be integrated with the department network (and not visible on others outside the department).
- Departments can opt into using ITS backup services, which includes archival of backup data at FSU’s Atlanta Disaster Recovery site.
- ITS operations staff can provide after-hours assistance for departmental servers.
For more details contact Mary Stephenson at 645-8027.