SMU-in-Plano Data Center on the Move

Data Center IconOIT hosts a secondary data center at the University’s SMU-in-Plano campus. This data center houses backups, redundant email services, and servers for the Plano campus. Once the contract for the sale of the Plano campus was signed, it would take a Herculean effort to move to the data center to the new location.  David Nguyen, Director of Infrastructure at SMU and the Project Manager for this “SMU Plano to Databank migration” project, was up to the challenge.

Actually, it was several challenges. The first one being the successful SMU Guildhall program would be remaining at the Plano campus, so they would still need the services that supported their educational efforts. The second challenge was finding a new location, followed by obtaining new hardware that would complement that location and meet the needs of the University. The last was to have minimal impact on the main & Plano campuses.

Partnering with Lonestar Education And Research Network (LEARN), the project team was able to locate a host for the backup data center only minutes away from the Plano campus and new networking equipment was ordered to sustain the University’s operations. This month, the equipment started to arrive and an effort has begun to stage the equipment for the move.

Later this month, the new equipment will be installed in its new location. Testing will be completed at the network layer and early adopter systems will be moved to the new data center to confirm connectivity.  Once connectivity is confirmed all equipment will be moved from SMU Plano.  Service owners will then sign off to proceed moving data. When the move does take place, it will happen within hours after the equipment goes online.

When the secondary data center is in full operation at its new location, it will be due to the hard work of the service owners and members of the project team. From starting the project to going live at the new location, only 3 months will have transpired. And during that time, most of the SMU community won’t need to worry about a thing!

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Ian Aberle

Ian Aberle is the IT Communications Specialist and Trainer for the Office of Information Technology (OIT) at Southern Methodist University (SMU). He started at SMU in 1996 and, for much of his career at the University, had managed the SMU STAR Program before joining the Training & Communications Team in 2015. In his free time, Ian enjoys photography and road trips with his family. You can see examples of when the two collide at ianaberle.com.