Over the last eighteen months, Information Technology Services (ITS) staff along with vendor partners have been working to overhaul our aging information technology infrastructure. The process of modernizing the data center combines servers, storage, networking, virtualization and management in a single managed solution referred to as a converged infrastructure. Joe Lear, director of enterprise server technologies explained, “This updated environment will allow us to merge our current server infrastructure from over 300 physical servers to four server racks, expand our virtualization capabilities, reduce our space requirements, provide a more reliable and faster system for data delivery and storage, and reduce power and cooling needs for the data center.”
One of the most complex parts of the project is migrating K-State applications to the new infrastructure. According to Loren Wilson, director of the information systems officer, “After months of careful planning and testing by staff in ITS and the Division of Financial Services, the Financial Information System (FIS) was migrated to the converged infrastructure over the weekend of April 16. The migration took 48 hours with the bulk of time spent testing the new environment.”
FIS is the second application to “go live”. The first was the virtual desktop environment, which is the system K-State uses to manage the computing labs. The K-State Student Information System and the Human Resource Information System will be migrated later this summer.
Fran Willbrant, assistant vice president division of financial services remarked, “Many staff hours contributed to the effort, which resulted in a smooth transition onto a more secure platform to run our very critical university financial system. This is a major milestone for the converged infrastructure.”
The converged infrastructure is in support of the Facilities and Infrastructure theme in K-State 2025, to “provide facilities and infrastructure that meet our evolving needs at a competitive level with our benchmark institutions and are an asset to recruit and retain quality students, faculty, researchers, and staff.” The IT converged infrastructure allows for decommissioning of an aging infrastructure.