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Southern Miss unveils New Technology and Data Center PDF Print E-mail
Friday, August 14, 2009
Contact Van Arnold, 601.266.5568   
(WITH PHOTOS)
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The University of Southern Mississippi iTech Department unveiled a renovated and expanded University Technology and Data Center during a ceremony held Friday, Aug. 14 on the Hattiesburg campus.

The $3.8 million project was funded primarily through a U.S. Department of Education and Hurricane Education Recovery Act grant. The purpose was to increase the availability and reliability of the business critical applications and the computer systems upon which they operate.

“The improvements made by the University Data Center Renovation Project will further secure university information, reduce downtime and increase the reliability of our critical systems,” said Homer Coffman, chief information officer.

The Southern Miss Data and Technology Center has attained Tier II status as defined by the Uptime Institute. According to the institute’s standards of classification and side infrastructure performance, Tier II facilities are most appropriate for institutional and educational research sites because they include redundant critical power and cooling components that provide an increased margin of safety. Subsequently, facilities such as the Southern Miss center are less susceptible to disruptions from both planned outages and unplanned equipment failure.

Among the major improvements to the center are state-of-the-art security measures which include security monitoring system with multiple indoor and outdoor cameras; under-floor leak detection system; waterless fire protection system; proximity and biometric access; and firewall protection of all connections entering and exiting the Data Center.

“The Technology Data Center is the foundation for the state-of-the-art computing infrastructure of the university,” said David Sliman, Technology Infrastructure Office director. “It is built for the present with enough expansion capabilities to accommodate all the computing needs of the university for the near future."

The increased availability and reliability of the University Technology and Data Center allows the university to keep people and information connected. To that end, upgrades that have been made include dual-fuel emergency generators; redundant electrical paths throughout the entire system; uninterruptible power supply systems; environmental and electrical system monitoring with built-in alert system; redundant power distribution units and power supply in each cabinet; redundant network connectivity to the university network; pre-cable, separate path, dual network connections in each cabinet; automatic power transfer switching; and three dedicated 20-ton cooling units.

The facility has also expanded considerably to provide increased capability to accommodate additional servers and related infrastructure in a secure and controlled environment. Those new features include expanded equipment rack and server cabinet space by 150 percent; expanded network port density by 300 percent; increased network bandwidth capacity by 200 percent; 75,000 feet of 10 Gbps-capable network cabling; 10,000 feet of electric cabling

Companies involved in the renovation project include Mechanical & Electrical Engineer (Lead professional): Corbette Legge and Associates PLLC, Tupelo; Architect: The McCarthy Company – Design Group, PA, Tupelo; Structural Engineer: Jenkins Engineering Inc., Tupelo; General Contractor: B.W. Sullivan, Hattiesburg; Electrical Contractor: Webster Electric, Meridian; Cabling Contractor: Business Communications, Jackson; Mechanical Contractor: Pierce Plumbing, Hattiesburg.

Southern Miss officials, including from left, Director of Technology David Sliman; Provost Bob Lyman; President Martha Saunders; and Chief Information Officer Homer Coffman take part in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the university’s renovated and expanded University Technology and Data Center Friday on the Hattiesburg campus. (Southern Miss photo by Steve Rouse)

Tina White checks the operations of Southern Miss’ renovated and expanded University Technology and Data Center, a $3.8 million project funded primarily through a U.S. Department of Education and Hurricane Education Recovery Act grant. The improvements increase the availability and reliability of the center’s business critical applications and the computer systems upon which they operate. (Southern Miss photo by Steve Rouse)

About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.
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