Data Center Consolidation


In November of 2017, the Board of Trustees charged UChicago IT to design and implement a plan to evaluate UChicago data centers systematically for risk and consolidation and then execute on the plan.  This validates and strengthens UChicago IT’s commitment to infrastructure transformation, which includes data center and server room consolidation, virtual machine and cloud compute optimization, and on-premise storage to cloud migration.

December 2017 to Present
Since November 2017, UChicago IT has been rationalizing the plan and identifying resources and approaches. The process is currently being piloted with one unit.

November 2017

A working group of subject matter experts from across IT Services was assembled to gather to assess data related to the maintenance and management practices of these scattered resources. With the assessment complete, the group designed plans for mitigation, which include the consolidation of several data centers considered to be “high risk.” The comprehensive strategy and high-level project timelines and resource impacts were presented to the committee; they will form the basis for future risk mitigation efforts.

May 2017- November 2017
In response to a directive from the May 2017 audit committee meeting, the IT Services Data Center working group finished the risk assessment and mitigation planning phase with a presentation at the November 2017 audit committee meeting. It was identified that distributed management and the oversight of data centers and end user devices are a driver of the IT risk profile at the University.


First, secure in place.

The process for evaluating a data center will include a kick-off meeting and a technical meeting.  Once there is a common understanding of the infrastructure, ITS will request access to the infrastructure and the ability to perform a baseline security scan.  When the infrastructure has been thoroughly reviewed, ITS will discuss a security recommendation/implementation plan and the remediation work to be performed by both groups. After remediation, ITS will continue to check the infrastructure.

Then, migrate infrastructure accordingly.*

The development of a migration plan includes a discussion of applications, the possibility for disruption to business needs, and what’s reasonable to do when. After the unit customers are notified about any disruptions, the migration will take place.  After the migration, room(s) that serve no other purpose to the unit will be inspected once more and reported back to the dean.

Depending on the needs of the unit, post-risk mitigation steps may change.

A Key Core Service

This work solidifies UChicago IT’s ability to provide consolidated and well-managed data center services. UChicago IT will work together with deans and divisional data center subject matter experts to bring this work to completion.

Security Requirements

To guide this work, UChicago IT has developed a standard for all data centers.  This standard will guide evaluation and remediation steps. 

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