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Posted in IT Consulting/Engineering, Projects

Higher Education Data Center

Network Core Migration and Physical Infrastructure Management                        

Summer 2015


This Higher Education Data Center had two key areas of focus related to their legacy infrastructure. The Network Core was in need of updating to create physical separation of key components and services for redundancy and security and the data center did not have a centralized means to gather information on the status of manageable IT infrastructure devices such as UPS, Metered Power Strips, Cooling units, and Environmental sensors.   The data center operators and managers required visibility into the managed devices with appropriate monitoring, measurement, reporting, and alerting tools to effectively operate and manage resources and systems.


A full evaluation of the existing data center infrastructure was performed and the results reported to the client with two suggested options for managing the physical infrastructure. Both options would allow the project to be completed on time and within budget. The client selected the option that minimized the disruption of services by utilizing pre-terminated cable assemblies to cross connect between the existing campus backbone connections and new secure network core locations. The secondary objective was to clean up pathways, eliminate large quantities of jumpers (patch cords) and organize the core cross connections. These objectives were realized with careful preplanning and staging of the work and the work was completed while maintaining the integrity of the existing campus backbone cable terminations to over 50 buildings.

The Scope of work included: Identify and develop the tasks and procedures required to support the College in the cutover of the core switches. Work with each stakeholder entity on tasks related to the cutover of the core switches and WAN services to insure completion in a timely fashion while maintaining service levels through precise scheduling and phased cutovers. Flow charting processes and tasks, provide and update network topology and as-built drawings including Cabinet Elevations, Cross-Connect Schedules and Equipment Lists. Coordinate with allied trades and internal departments on scheduling, material acquisition, preparation and staging so that all tasks associated with the completion of the cutover of the core switches could be completed according to the scheduling and service objectives on the days and times assigned. Research and provide solutions for Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) including resource and component identification, manufacturer and product set evaluation and capabilities assessment, systems integration and configuration options. Participation in supplier interviews, selectivity and budget development for a phased implementation program.