Information Technology Facility Servers
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - 5:11pm

Information Technology Services (ITS) is making excellent progress in migrating services to the new Information Technology Facility (ITF) at the University of Iowa Research Park. Those involved with the data center move are optimistic that things will wrap up by the target date of Dec. 31.

Staff members have been diligently working on this endeavor for the past year. Every group within Enterprise Infrastructure spent the first half of 2012 planning for and building out support infrastructure such as networking, server cabinets, fiber pathways, and storage. Since June, the Server Support Team (SST) and members of the Core IT Facilities, “Rack & Stack” team have focused on migrating servers to the new data center.

When ITS staff members began working on server migrations in July, there were 519 to be moved from Jessup Hall. As of Dec. 10, 115 servers remained.

Nearly every major service that ITS provides to campus has been touched to some degree by this project. ICON was successfully migrated over the Thanksgiving holiday and the MAUI web farm is in the process of migrating. Half of the Hawk Mail (Exchange) systems were moved in October with the rest moving later this month. PeopleSoft is scheduled to move in mid-December. 

Teams all across the ITS organization have played integral roles in this substantial undertaking. While the SST has the lion’s share of the work that is currently being done, Core IT Facilities was responsible for moving all the server equipment and setting it up in the new location; Storage Services built out all new infrastructure for storage (SAN and NAS) services; and IT Physical Infrastructure built out the cabling in ITF. Network Services provisioned fiber runs and set up the data center enterprise class networking equipment. The Information Security and Policy Office is managing numerous firewalls, and dozens of ITS service owners have contributed by working with SST to migrate their service to ITF, including determining the best time and communicating with customers.  And let’s not forget all the work by Administrative Information Systems (AIS) staff to migrate workload off the mainframe.

The biggest challenge of the project has been balancing the priorities of the many groups involved (everything from minimizing down time and cost to ensuring that the appropriate security measures are in place, while still completing the work by the end of this year), but the transition has gone quite well, says Guy Falsetti, who leads the SST in Enterprise Infrastructure.

“The teams and individuals working on this deserve a tremendous amount of credit,” Falsetti says. “They have put in long hours, exercised patience, and solved problems to see that the migration goes as smoothly as possible.”

Falsetti says the SST is managing the heavy workload by considering the data center migration its top priority, followed by existing service maintenance, strategic projects, and new service requests, which may take a little longer than usual while the ITF migration is in progress.