At IU, what physical and virtual options does the Data Center provide for housing departmentally owned IT equipment, and what other options are available?

The Indiana University Data Center provides a superb, robust, and well-secured environment for housing IU's valuable information and information technology assets. UITS offers various options to host departmentally managed IT services and departmentally owned IT hardware within the Data Center. In the Data Center, the Enterprise Pod and Research Pod house IT equipment.

  • Virtualization: Use of the UITS Intelligent Infrastructure (II) virtualization service provides a cost-effective, robust, and energy-efficient mechanism to deliver IT services through virtual machines (VMs). This is the approach taken by many leading cloud providers, such as Amazon and Google. UITS recommends this as the best approach for departmental web, application, and database servers. Moving to IU's virtual environment achieves benefits of hardware efficiencies, reduced environmental impact, and increased flexibility to respond quickly to changing service needs. Servers operating within VMs can be administered by a departmental staff person acting as the system administrator as if that person had direct control of a physical server. These systems can be backed up automatically. For more, including rates, see IU Intelligent Infrastructure.
  • Condominium computing - UITS-managed, departmentally owned research IT systems or system components: Condominium (or condo) computing is what it sounds like intuitively, but without the condominium association fees.

    If you or your IU sub-unit have money available to use for a computing cluster, you always have the option of buying and operating your own cluster, as well as managing it, backing it up, and securing it against hackers. Alternatively, you can purchase nodes that are compatible with IU's Karst cluster, have them installed in the very secure IUB Data Center, have them available when you want to use them, and have them managed, backed up, and secured by UITS Research Technologies staff. With this option, you get access to your nodes within seconds of requesting their use. Additionally, when they are not in use, they become available to others in the IU community, thereby expanding the computing capability available to the IU community while conserving natural resources and energy. Since any piece of computing equipment has a relatively short useful life (about four years), and it takes considerable energy and a variety of metals to make a computer node, the least environmental impact is achieved by using computing equipment to its absolute maximum capability. Because of the benefits to the IU community, UITS generally hosts condominium computing nodes without charging maintenance or operations fees.

    The typical characteristics of a cluster condominium hosting agreement are:

    • The type of resource included within the cluster condominium supports uni-processor or scalable parallel jobs (e.g., Condor, MPI, or OpenMP), and the nodes are compatible with the basic infrastructure of the Karst cluster.
    • Schools, departments, labs, or individual investigators will have and irrevocably retain ownership of the equipment they purchase, which is housed within the cluster condominium service. However, the lifespan of equipment will rarely exceed four years, and never exceed five years, under UITS management via a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
    • Job scheduling is based on node owner affinity to ensure fairness. When the owner of a certain pool of hardware wants to use that hardware, the owner's jobs are prioritized.

    It is also possible to purchase storage space on the Scholarly Data Archive and/or the Data Capacitor II.

    For departmentally owned clusters, UITS also will provide hosting services under a facilities management agreement. Such hosting agreements improve physical security and reliability of power supplies to clusters. Since they do not have the same community benefit aspects that condominium clusters have, UITS offers them at a cost that reflects the cost of Data Center floor space, electricity, and cooling.

    Karst condominium node pricing

    • Option 1: Compute-centric node (standard Research Technologies Karst build)

      Definition: Standard Karst build on standard UITS-supported hardware; guaranteed four-year lifespan; five-year service limit

      Cost: $4,832

    • Option 2: Admin-supported compute-centric node (node-level colocation)

      Definition: Non-standard services with customer-driven software requirements; guaranteed four-year lifespan; five-year service limit

      Cost: $10,014 (1 node) or $62,826 (12 nodes)

    • Option 3: Data-intensive node (standard Research Technologies Karst build)

      Definition: Standard Karst build on standard UITS-supported hardware; guaranteed four-year lifespan; five-year service limit

      Cost: $6,936

    • Option 4: Admin-supported data-intensive node (node-level colocation)

      Definition: Non-standard services with customer-driven software requirements; guaranteed four-year lifespan; five-year service limit

      Cost: $13,035 (1 node) or $55,897 (6 nodes)

  • Leasing of Enterprise Class Data Center space: Departments can lease physical space for their servers in the Enterprise Pod of the IU Bloomington Data Center or in the ICTC Data Center at IUPUI. This is intended primarily as a transition strategy to the II virtualization service described above. Under some specialized circumstances, a departmentally owned IT system may be housed in leased Enterprise space and administered by departmental personnel if technical requirements make it impossible to use the II virtualization service. The UITS System Assurance Group (SAG) reviews and approves such colocation agreements to ensure that equipment located in the Data Center is appropriate for a production IT facility and uses the capacity of the Data Center for the best interests of IU and the state of Indiana. The UITS server colocation environment for departments provides space, power, cooling, and operator services. The colocations in the Enterprise Pod will use the standard racks. For current charges, see Rates and costs of services. For more about server colocation agreements, email the System Assurance Group.

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Last modified on 2017-07-10 09:11:40.

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