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Striking a Balance in Higher Education Computing

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The need for anytime, anywhere computing on today’s college and university campuses is more critical than ever before. As more and more colleges offer virtual classes and remote learning, 24/7 …

The need for anytime, anywhere computing on today’s college and university campuses is more critical than ever before. As more and more colleges offer virtual classes and remote learning, 24/7 reliability has never been more important. Plus, many facilities are outdated, and there is a growing need for cleaner, more energy efficient data centers.

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  • 1. Striking a Balance in Higher Education ComputingThe need for anytime, anywhere computing on today’s college and university campusesis more critical than ever before. As more and more colleges offer virtual classes andremote learning, 24/7 reliability has never been more important. Plus, many facilitiesare outdated, and there is a growing need for cleaner, more energy efficient datacenters. Take into consideration the shrinking or stagnant budgets, and the challengesbecome evident. Colleges and universities are at the forefront of the sustainabilitymovement, so it’s becoming vitally important to balance high-density computingrequirements with energy efficiency.“There is a real demand facing academic institutions to not only meet the computingrequirements of today, but also prepare facilities for the needs of tomorrow,” said LarryBacher, vice president and leader of Gilbane’s higher education division. “Projectteams have to plan for future construction needs during initial construction, includingplanning for rich bandwidth and intensive power to meet technology needs in new andrenovated facilities.”Today’s higher education data center needs run the full spectrum from supporting agingtechnology, to handling the latest supercomputing mainframes. Other factors that drivedata center expansions are the expectation that all students work on computersthroughout the campus; the undertaking by most campus libraries to digitize books andrely on digitized journals to support research needs; the intensive adoption of newaudio-visual technologies, such as smart boards, document cameras and digitalprojectors, throughout academic facilities; and the expansion of cloud computing,which pushes processing and file management off laptops and through the university’sbandwidth to reach cloud computing facilities all over the world.“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to data centers for universities,” said KevinO’Brien, vice president and leader of Gilbane’s mission critical division. “Most arelooking to contain costs while being energy efficient and meeting the needs of thestudents and faculty. But ultimately it depends on who’s driving the upgrade orconstruction project.”About the Author:Gilbane Inc. comprises two operating companies: Gilbane Building Company andGilbane Development Company. These two often work jointly as one company toprovide integrated expertise in finance, property development, planning andcommercial construction. For more information please call 1-800-GILBANE or visithttp://www.gilbaneco.com.Please visit http://www.buildbest.us/2011/06/striking-a-balance-in-higher-education-computing/ to read the original article.