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ITServices powers down servers

Project team members Charles Zhang, Curtis Ireland, Marco Giacomello and Ted Pritchard (left to right) prepare to decommission a server.

ITServices got a head start on spring cleaning recently with the decommissioning of 36 servers from the university’s main data centre in the basement of Dupuis Hall.

“Critically evaluating our hardware and retiring equipment that no longer meets our needs will result in significant energy savings for the university,” says Brad Hannah, Coordinator, Unix Systems and Storage, ITServices. “Once the project is complete, we will have a data centre that is more efficient and easier to manage.”

Mr. Hannah and his project team consulted with university clients as they planned the server decommissioning. A majority of the servers identified for decommissioning were running software and services no longer required at the university. Moving services to externally hosted solutions, such as the recent migration of student email to Microsoft 365, allowed ITServices to retire additional hardware.

When the servers were fully operational, they consumed approximately 11 kilowatts per hour. Turning them off reduces the university’s electricity bill by $9,000 each year. ITServices will see other cost savings from not having to support, maintain and cool that equipment. The project team hopes to retire 30 more servers currently in operation during the second phase of the project over the next six to nine months, saving an additional 11 kilowatt hours and $9,000 per year.

Brad Hannah, Coordinator, Unix Systems and Storage, ITServices, stands among some of the servers recently retired.

After destroying the data on the hard drives, the project team deposited the equipment in the electronic waste bins during the IT Recycle Games on March 5. The inaugural event, which included games and prizes, was designed to raise awareness of the university’s electronic waste recycling program. Staff, faculty and students dropped off almost 3.5 metric tonnes of electronic waste. A list of prizewinners will be published later this week on the GreenFest website.