IU, Ivy Tech reach agreement on IU data center space
Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie and Ivy Tech Community College President Thomas J. Snyder on April 26 formalized an agreement allowing Ivy Tech to move a major portion of its enterprise applications equipment to IU's Data Center located at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
The agreement, signed during a ceremony at the Indiana Statehouse, is being hailed by leaders at both schools as an outstanding example of collaboration among higher education institutions in Indiana that will maximize efficiency by sharing facilities and capabilities.
Indiana University opened its IUPUI data center as part of the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex in 2004 and the IU Bloomington data center in 2009. The university uses the two data centers to maximize resources and support a best practice of disaster recovery. The creation of the IU Bloomington data center, combined with IU's multi-year effort to create efficiencies through consolidation of its own IT infrastructure, provided an opportunity for Ivy Tech to use a portion of the IUPUI data center to house its critical applications.
"We at Indiana University see this as an opportunity to again be responsive to the broader educational needs of the entire Indiana community," McRobbie said. "Students at both institutions -- as well as all Indiana taxpayers -- will benefit from this partnership."
Momentum behind the agreement began while Ivy Tech was seeking innovative ways to address a serious problem in its aging data center and faced a potential cost of more than $18 million to build a new data center. Ivy Tech instead worked with IU on a solution that saves taxpayers money and brings the institutions together on another joint operation.
"Ivy Tech's data center was too old and too small to expand to meet the growing needs of the college, and did not meet standards in several building codes," said Snyder. "With this agreement Ivy Tech can utilize a modern facility for critical equipment and not attempt to retrofit an old facility to meet the IT demands of the 21st century, saving taxpayers and students of Indiana millions of dollars."
The remaining portion of Ivy Tech's equipment will be moved to the state of Indiana's data center, again leveraging money spent to support the state and its educational system. Ivy Tech plans on moving its enterprise application equipment to the IUPUI data center, 535 W. Michigan St., in late July.
"This is a great outcome for the State of Indiana." said IU Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Brad Wheeler. "It demonstrates yet again how our collective investments in the I-Light Network and data centers enable highly efficient partnerships for the educational mission of Ivy Tech and IU. This technical partnership further supports the academic partnership between Ivy Tech and IU."
IU and Ivy Tech have a long history of cooperation. Last year it was announced that Ivy Tech's 21 campuses in Indiana would be connected to I-Light, the IU-managed optical fiber telecommunications network for research and education in the state, and in 2009 the two signed agreements allowing Ivy Tech education students to transfer credits toward an IU degree.
Leaders from both institutions said they would continue to look at other ways collaborative efforts can improve the educational system in Indiana.
Originally published April 26, 2011.