June, 2018 CIO Update
It’s almost time to say Happy New Year as we close out Fiscal year 2018 and prepare for Fiscal Year 2019. I extend my thanks to all those in Technology Services working extra hours right now to make sure VCU’s fiscal-year-end processing goes well. for this month’s update, I’d like to highlight exciting new infrastructure capability as well share a great example of using technology to drive efficiencies and savings.
100 Gbps connectivity
VCU’s primary external network connection is provided by the Mid-Atlantic Research Infrastructure Alliance (MARIA), an alliance of institutions in Virginia established to promote the development of shared advanced network and other cyberinfrastructure resources to serve the Commonwealth and the Mid-Atlantic region.
The MARIA connection provides access to one of our Internet service providers, peering with Equinix in northern Virginia for delivery of streaming services, access to Internet2 and other high speed research networks, and supports services to VCU’s School of Medicine and School of Pharmacy at Inova Hospital. Current utilization for all services has been peaking at about 7 Gigabits per second (Gbps) and continues to increase.
In order to stay ahead of the growth in utilization, the MARIA circuit has recently been upgraded from 10 Gbps to 100 Gbps. Initially the additional bandwidth will only be available from the VCU Computer Center at 900 E. Main St., but the network backbone speed will be upgraded to multiple 40Gbs links by the end of calendar year 2018. These improvements will allow for high speed connectivity to the Research Network (Researchnet) providing needed bandwidth for the transferring of large data sets and supporting research grants. As such, we anticipate a large increase in the amount of research related traffic, but the capacity increase will benefit the entire VCU community in the coming years.
Thanks to some excellent work in our Academic Technologies area utilizing the Eco functionality in Crestron Roomview, from February 5, 2018 to June 18, 2018, 80,044 hours of power use in our classrooms were saved. Before implementing Eco, our team members would walk by rooms and see them left on all the time. If class ended at 11AM, the room wouldn’t automatically shut down until 11PM; that’s 12 hours wasted in just one day. Now the classroom systems shut down automatically when not being used, and the system starts counting hours until the next time someone turns on the system again, or until 11PM (we also have auto shutdown at 11PM in place), which has helped quantify the substantial savings since this started being used:
$ 8,165.52 saved on replacement lamps
$ 6,553.54 saved on electric energy (that only accounts for displays, projectors, and LCD monitors)
Total savings: $14,719.06
This is a great example of using technology to save money and manage environmental impact.
Thanks to all for a successful fiscal year, and my best for a happy and safe Independence Day holiday!