Data Centers

U Montana Consolidates Infrastructure with Prefab Data Center

The University of Montana has implemented a modular data center to help consolidate IT infrastructure from numerous smaller data centers.

The university has 23 data centers across its campus in Missoula, MT and was looking for a way to cut costs by moving some of its servers and storage devices into a single high-efficiency center. Since the climate in Montana is relatively cool most of the year, the university wanted a data center that could take advantage of that climate to help reduce the cost of cooling the center. Their search led them to the Data Center on Demand modular data center from CommScope, which features the SmartAir Intelligent Cooling System.

The implementation process was completed in less than nine months, and according to information from CommScope, the production and deployment of the modular data center unit took less than 20 weeks. The new data center includes SmartAir evaporative cooling with self-regulating temperature controls, 16 server racks running 20 kilowatts each, backup power through battery and diesel generators and redundant universal power supply units.

"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," said Tony Jablonski, assistant chief information officer at the University of Montana, in a prepared statement. The new data center has several available racks that the university will use to integrate other legacy systems in the future.

The university has already cut its energy and water costs since implementing the new data center. "After we brought the unit online, we started seeing an approximately 80 percent reduction in energy costs," said 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."

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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