IT Framework

Initiatives in this area will focus on delivering core infrastructure services with high reliability, competitive pricing, and responsive support to first strengthen MSU Information Technology and later align all university colleges and departments across campus.

In Progress

Data Center Program (project number PJ0033)

The MSU Board of Trustees authorized the construction of an on-campus data center to address the university’s needs for expanded computing capacity, enhanced security, improved business continuity, and high-performance research computing demands.

A construction project to build the data center and a program to bring it online has been initiated. When completed, the Administration Building and Computer Center data centers will be brought together with the High Performance Computing Center, Health Technology Professionals, and Infrastructure Planning & Facilities data centers in this new space.

Project Dates: October 2016 to April 2018

Status as of September 20, 2017

Project Impact: 

  • Support the delivery of our mission of education, research and outreach, and activities inherent in the operation of a major teaching and research institution.
  • Provide sufficient capacity to invite all distributed IT currently housed in units across campus and other locations.
  • Develop a centralized data center to support the academic, research, administrative, and high-performance computing needs of the university.
  • Address today’s and tomorrow’s compute capacity, quality, reliability, redundancy, and security needs.

Project Milestones: 

  • October 2016: Data center construction begins. Migration planning begins. (Completed)
  • January 2017: Sub-projects for operationalization started (network, backup, additional storage). Established Data Center Migration Advisory group. (Completed)
  • February 2017: Data Center space in the new building will be enclosed and dry. (Completed)
  • December 2017: Data Center is commissioned and certified ready to operate.
  • January 2018: Initial server migration begins with two MSU IT data centers, HPCC/ICER, Health Technology, and Infrastructure Planning and Facilities.
  • December 2018: Initial migration completed. Campus department migrations can begin.
  • April 2019: Administration data center decommission begins and space reallocated.

Network Planning (project number PJ0041)

An assessment of MSU’s current network infrastructure was conducted. This assessment included a network appraisal and identification of upgrades needed to deliver a service that is responsive to the connectivity needs of the MSU community. After the assessment, a plan to expand and upgrade campus networks so that they better support the academic, research, and outreach mission of the university while enhancing the campus living experiences is being created.

Project Dates: February 2015 to March 2017

Status as of September 20, 2017

Project Impact:

  • Alignment with industry leading standards
  • Enhanced reliability and resiliency
  • Support future growth demands and the proliferation of Internet of Things devices

Project Milestones:

  • September 2015: Wired and wireless network assessment (Completed)
  • December 2015: Future network design (Completed)
  • March 2016: Complete MSU Campus Network Upgrade Plan
  • April 2016: Vendor equipment VAR RFP award. (Completed)

Preliminary Findings
The current campus network follows a multi-tier design from Internet to access that consists of firewalls, controllers, and switches. Switches and controllers enable network devices to talk to each other efficiently while firewalls keep the flow of information secure. The design supports the ability for students, faculty and staff to work reliably both on campus and off.

Wired Assessment
The wired assessment revealed that the network in many buildings needs to be replaced because it is old and outdated. In addition, several more buildings require updating because they include a mix of technology. To bring the wired network current, a set of standards needs to be applied across campus.

Wi-Fi-Assessment
The Wi-Fi assessment confirmed that significant enhancements need to be made to provide a near seamless Wi-Fi experience to students, faculty, and staff. Many buildings are currently lacking in sufficient coverage and capacity.

Future Initiatives

  • Rearchitect Backend Compute and Storage Services
  • Consolidate Email and Collaboration Services

Completed

  • Set Up IT Transformation Program Management Office
  • Develop and Rollout Communications Plan
  • Data Center Planning