CU Data Center move slated for October

The University of Colorado will relocate its enterprise servers to a new, modern facility on the Anschutz Medical Campus in October 2023. This critical data center relocation will be managed by University Information Service (UIS) in collaboration with their campus partners.

After a high-level review of CU academic and business calendars, the target date for the implementation window is 8 a.m. Oct. 6 through 8 a.m. Oct. 9, with a target contingency date of 8 a.m. Nov. 10 through 8 a.m. Nov. 13. These dates and times will be confirmed after further discussions with stakeholders and detailed planning.

Given the enormity of the task – which involves moving and setting up more than 11 tons of equipment – it will be a cold cutover, meaning all applications will be unavailable for the three-day implementation window. UIS will focus only on the data center move during that time.

Why is the move necessary?

Hosting/Ntirety, the current vendor for CU’s data center P01, recently changed its business model. As a result, CU has serious concerns that have prioritized this move.

Informed by recommendations from CU’s legal team and the IT Governance Committee, CU leadership decided the data center move is essential to delivering core services to the university. It is imperative that the data center move take place with succinct preparation rather than in an emergency scenario.

What is a data center? Why are they still needed in the age of cloud computing?

Data centers are a crucial component of cloud computing. A data center manages and stores data, providing the infrastructure required to run applications. CU has core systems, such as Oracle/PeopleSoft, that are on-site and not Cloud or SaaS supported. Several applications in our current data centers are not suitable to run in public cloud environments without major changes or re-design efforts.

How will the implementation window impact students, faculty and staff?

At this time, we anticipate that all production services will be unavailable throughout the implementation window. A list of impacted applications can be found in the UIS Implementation Window post. The post also includes a list of CU System services that will be available.

Some campus-specific applications rely on access or information from enterprise applications that will be down and, therefore, will also be impacted or unavailable. The Implementation Window post will be updated to include all applications identified during the planning phase.

Current non-production services are hosted at the eFORT data center (P02), which is not involved in this move but may be functionally impacted by support services in P01 during the implementation window.

Could the move happen as a “hot cutover” without applications being down?

A data center move is not a common activity.  It’s been over 10 years since the last data center move of UIS services. The estimated multi-million investment needed to duplicate functionality for these rare occasions has been discussed in years past and it was agreed that the investment is not fiscally responsible in keeping with the university’s mission.

What are the next steps?

UIS will collaborate with campus and system stakeholders ensuring that together, we agree upon the least disruptive dates for the university. We appreciate your support as we coordinate this multifaceted and essential move.

Whom do I contact if I have questions?

University Information Services
[email protected] | 303-860-HELP (4357)