Transcript Slide 1

Addressing the Needs
Research and Administrative Computing
Research and Administrative Computing Committee
Presented October 8, 2007
Addressing Administrative Computing Needs
Our approach is to provide central IT data center facility services to
departmental applications. To introduce best practice computing
standards and to migrate departmental applications to run within a
controlled, secure NUIT-managed space.
Movement of departmental servers into the data center facility
began in 1999.
Efficiencies Introduced to Lower Operating Costs
Standardize Platforms
• Six (6) operating systems supported in 1999
• Three (3) operating systems supported in 2007
Tiered Storage Solutions
• Nearline Storage:
UltraScalable tape library introduced 2002
• Low-Tier Storage:
IBM DS4100 introduced 2005
• Mid-Tier Storage:
IBM DS4500 introduced 2004
• High-End Storage:
IBM DS8100 introduced 2005
Consolidated Storage
• Virtual file storage service introduced May 2006
to consolidate storage using a tiered storage approach
Virtualization of Servers
• Virtual server service introduced May 2007
to consolidate physical machines
Service Level Agreements Define Services Provided
Service Level Agreements are used to clarify the level of service provided. To align
data center services with customer expectations, we defined terms frequently used
in requesting computing requirements and system availability services. The
Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) concept was introduced in
2004 and we are following this service model.
Definition of Terms
and Classifying Business Requirements
Disaster Recovery (DR)
Overall process of recovery
Includes rebuilding hardware and applications
Is not solved with high availability systems
Off-site location may or may not be used
Never a purely technical process
System Classification
Supports a classified business function and process whereas
Class 1 = Non-vital, Class 2 = Vital, or Class 3 = Critical
Have a defined recovery time objective
Have a defined recovery point objective
High Availability (HA)
Addresses speed of recovery from unplanned outages
Scheduled planned maintenance still occurs
Systems are not protected against natural or human-caused calamity
Service available in four different levels
Business requirement determines level of HA service
Evaluation and Upgrade of Data Center Facilities
A continuous evaluation and upgrade process is used to measure facility capabilities
against current and projected demands. To match the demand, capital investments to
upgrade the data center facility infrastructure began in 2003 and more improvement
projects are underway.
2003 Evaluation
Data Center Needs Assessment by WMA Consulting Engineers was performed to address
architectural, HVAC, electrical, fire protection, and site layout needs for the Evanston facility.
2005 Upgrade
New UPS systems and generator installed in 2005
2006 Upgrade
Chicago data center brought online December 2006 to provide failover of critical business
systems and provide departmental and research server rack space for the Chicago Campus
2007 Evaluation
Data Center Power Study performed by EYP Mission Critical Facilities to assess electrical
infrastructure of Evanston facility in 2007 and identifies weaknesses
2008 Upgrade
HVAC and Fire Suppression upgrades are slated for spring 2008
Addressing Research Computing Needs
Our approach is to provide Northwestern University researchers with a shared central High
Performance Computing (HPC) Facility within a controlled, secure NUIT-managed space
where technical staff with domain research support experience can be shared.
Movement of researchers into the data center facility:
• Social Science Computing Cluster (SSCC) arrives 2004
• Small research center online April 2004:
- Computer Science
-Geological Science
- Material Science
- Life Sciences
- School of Communication
- Isilon clustered mid-tier storage introduced 2007
- Kalogera High Performance Computing (HPC) Cluster arrives 2007
Consensus building and researcher needs assessment:
• University Committee on Information Technology (UCIT) Vision 2020 Report prepared May 2007
captures faculty needs for technology to support research, scholarly and creative activity through
• High-Performance Computing (HPC) Feasibility Study is underway with EYP Mission Critical Facilities
to advise NUIT on cost-effective means to accommodate HPC systems in the Evanston data center.