February 17, 2016
OneIT will soon hit a milestone as the first of 16 projects moves into closeout phase. Last week, the Steering Committee reviewed the Electronic File Storage project achievements with the project team. Storage will continue to be an important area of concentration for the OneIT community as more units adopt the central service offerings, but all agreed that the scope of the TIER project was complete; the effort succeeded in making storage more affordable and easier to access. The project team, led by Laurie Hafner Dahms, Mark Wilson, and Dave Bronder and managed by Kris Halter, worked to address service gaps, accommodate greater demand for storage, and make storage more affordable by migrating files and relevant data from duplicative services to the central service. By taking advantage of advances in storage technology, they were able to decrease the price of large-scale storage from $60 per terabyte per year to $40 per terabyte per year. The service also offers 30-day online self-restore backup snapshots, file replication, and off-campus access to files. Units that shifted to the central service, like the Office of the State Archeologist appreciated freeing up IT staff in their area to focus on more specialized local needs. They also reported significant savings through equipment cost avoidance—for example, not having to replace old servers and parts. As the project team analyzed needs for storage on campus, they determined that faculty would benefit from having access to more free storage—five terabytes, rather than the existing three. They were able to offer this, benefiting researchers like John Prineas, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, who previously had to store data in several locations, making comparison of data much more difficult. At its recent meeting with the Steering Committee, the project team outlined additional accomplishments EFS Accomplishments.pdf, including reported savings, a list of migrations, and service improvements. They also shared a project plan for ongoing operation of central storage services. The next step will be to work on transitional plans to form a more established storage group on campus, with a team charge and a service roadmap. The closeout plan will be presented to the Steering Committee. Congratulations to the team; the hard work is appreciated!