updated: 10/10/2007 3:43:55 PM

Groundbreaking Set For IU Data Center

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

Indiana University will Friday host a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Data Center. The more than 82,000 square foot facility will house the university's supercomputer, information technology infrastructure and mission-critical systems.

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The facility will also provide protection against electrical damage, power outages and disasters like tornadoes and storms.

IU President Michael McRobbie will preside over Friday's ceremony, which will begin at 1:30 p.m.

Press Release

Bloomington, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael McRobbie will preside over the groundbreaking ceremony for a long-anticipated new Data Center on Friday (Oct. 12) from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The ceremony will take place at the center, northeast of the intersection of East 10th Street and the Ind. 45/46 Bypass.

The new Data Center, which will encompass 82,700 gross square feet, will contain IU's supercomputer, constantly expanding information technology infrastructure and mission-critical systems and protect them -- not only from electrical damage, power outages and malicious damage, but also from brute-force disasters like tornadoes and storms.

"This new Data Center will ensure Indiana University's continued academic excellence, research prowess and global leadership in the uses and application of information technology," said McRobbie. "It provides a highly secure, scalable, resilient and reliable facility to house the core university information systems and data bases, telecommunications facilities, supercomputer technologies and servers that provide e-mail, Web access and a host of other services. The university simply could not function if any of these services or systems were disrupted or damaged for any significant period of time."

Despite IU's information technology systems being some of the most advanced in the world, these systems have long been housed in fragile, obsolete old school buildings not built to house or protect such sophisticated equipment.

"Our current data center has long been vulnerable to acts of nature and is insufficient for the needs of IU," said IU Vice President of Information Technology Brad Wheeler. "With this groundbreaking, we right that course with a hardened facility that reduces our risks and expands our ability to compete for research funding."

The new Data Center is designed to withstand an F5 tornado and includes its critical infrastructure within the facility. It provides almost four times the current space and 10 times the electrical capacity of the severely constrained current facility, and has advanced fire suppression and security systems.

When complete, the Data Center will be connected to a similar facility at IUPUI in Indianapolis by the I-Light optical fiber network, which runs over two separate routes. This enables data to be instantly backed up and shared between both hardened sites, making IU's IT systems and services highly protected, secure and resilient.

McRobbie said the Data Center will become a very important part of the infrastructure that supports the university's fundamental missions of research and education.

"These systems are essential every day to all of the students, faculty and staff at Indiana University," McRobbie said. "They allow our faculty to make lasting and far-reaching contributions in the life, physical and social sciences, in the arts and humanities, and in nearly every other area of research and scholarship. And they give our students access to the tools and resources that are vital components of a 21st century education."

The University Architect's Office currently estimates the building will be finished in spring 2008. The Data Center's architect is Detroit-based SmithGroup. The University Architect's Office project manager is Frank Young.

"Trends in many forms of scholarly research and teaching show a voracious appetite for storage, computation and advanced networks," Wheeler said. "With this new data center, Indiana University sets a course to secure these critical resources for our students, faculty and staff."

Source: Indiana University

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