University of Montana, CommScope complete modular data center platform deployment

In an effort to consolidate an IT infrastructure that was dispersed throughout its campus, the University of Montana announced that it has completed the installation of its legacy servers and storage devices within the Data Center on Demand modular data center solution from CommScope.

Apr 22nd, 2015
University of Montana deploys CommScope’s modular data center platform
University of Montana deploys CommScope’s modular data center platform

In an effort to consolidate an IT infrastructure that was dispersed throughout its campus, the University of Montana announced that it has completed the installation of its legacy servers and storage devices within the Data Center on Demand modular data center solution from CommScope. The IT portfolio is now online and serving the university within its new high-efficiency, purpose-built data center solution.

According to university officials, from its initial planning in 2014 to the time it became fully operational, installation of CommScope's Data Center on Demand solution was completed in less than nine months – significantly faster than the time required to plan, design, and build a traditional brick-and-mortar facility, notes the company. The actual production and deployment of the unit itself took less than 20 weeks. Coupled with recent virtualization initiatives, the university says its modular data center has a built-in migration path with several available racks for future integration of outlying legacy systems.

“This new data center further strengthens our network and IT infrastructure with the best technology available,” said Tony Jablonski, assistant chief information officer at the University of Montana. “We are now in a position to consolidate about one-third of our 23 modest-sized data centers, which were scattered across our campus, into a single unit. We have already begun that process with great success."

Jablonski added, "CommScope’s advanced infrastructure solutions are highly reliable and we had a great experience working with them on this project. We have a significant responsibility to provide our faculty and students with a secure, efficient, and dependable service when managing their information. Now that most of our data center technology is operating within the Data Center on Demand modular solution, I can sleep better at night.”

When University of Montana staff started researching the development of a new data center, they wanted to deploy a solution that allowed them to take advantage of the Montana climate, which remains fairly cool throughout most of the year, to help lower cooling costs. The CommScope unit came with the company's SmartAir Intelligent Cooling System to help fulfill that need. Since the unit became fully operational, the University of Montana is seeing the benefits from highly efficient and innovative cooling technology.

“After we brought the unit online, we started seeing an approximately 80 percent reduction in energy costs,” noted Jablonski. “Since the unit uses the cool Montana climate, we have also seen a significant reduction in water usage, which was costing the university approximately $45,000 a year.”

According to CommScope, the purpose-built Data Center on Demand at the University of Montana includes: SmartAir evaporative cooling with self-regulating adiabatic temperature controls; 16 server racks running 20 kilowatts each; backup power through battery and diesel generators; and redundant universal power supply units.

“Many organizations face the same challenges as the University of Montana when trying to consolidate their IT infrastructure with very little budget or real estate,” comments Kevin St. Cyr, senior vice president of Enterprise Solutions, CommScope. “The Data Center on Demand solution was the perfect fit to quickly bring all of their legacy systems into one efficient modular unit that still has room to grow.”

A video featuring the University of Montana's purpose-built data center, including a full interview with Tony Jablonski, can be viewed here:

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