Forty-two percent of college students use two or more mobile devices during a typical school day. For those who use three or more devices — such as a smartphone, tablet and laptop — 61% say they want to use mobile technology even more, according to the Pearson Student Mobile Device Survey 2015. Universities that want to keep their halls of learning full must be sure their data centers are ready to meet these connectivity demands.
It’s not just students who will be looking at your technology offerings before they make decisions, prospective faculty members don’t want to be left behind and potential researchers seek cutting edge facilities to help reel in precious grant money. On top of this, many of the latest on campus systems, security cameras for example, run off of wireless connections.
Think about game day. In addition to the student body, thousands of fans descend and bring even more devices. The access points that need to be covered now are widespread and exponential.
Yet, in many cases data centers at higher education institutions are aged and the equipment in the many wiring closets in the dorms and libraries are not up to date either. The mobile revolution isn’t even 10 years old yet and it took all industries by surprise. Private sector businesses are just beginning to catch up, but colleges and universities haven’t had the same opportunities.
Adding On; Building Out
Your higher education data center can be made more powerful by taking a life cycle approach to upgrades. Phases include plan, design, build, operate and assess. All these steps are detailed in white paper: “Fundamentals of Managing the Data Center Life Cycle for Owners.”
The paper explains, “However long a data center owner requires their facility to last; the physical infrastructure systems are expected to continuously live up to the facility design’s performance specifications even as business and IT requirements change. Management’s understanding of the data center life cycle phases and their interconnectedness helps ensure this happens. ”
Get started on the road to robustness by understanding the big picture and what happens in each of these phases. As you move through the process, you’ll be able to identify gaps and prioritize your data center project.
When it comes to wiring closets a so-called “server room in a box” addresses many of the requirements unique to universities and colleges. It’s intended to house IT and networking gear in relatively small spaces and, for example, the NetShelter CX is quiet, self-cooled, transportable and sizable. The unit is also secure — completely lockable — which is especially important on campus.
While being able to keep students, faculty and researchers connected to all their preferred technology — and as many devices as they choose — might make you look like a super star to those charged with recruiting, you won’t need super computing capabilities. However, if you do, we have got that covered as well.
Take a walk through the Stampede super computer at the University of Texas, Austin. Along with real longhorns, you can see the results of how we helped with an InRow Cooling solution to cool the workloads that are required to process in their unique 8,000 sq. ft. data center.