Data Centre At St Andrews Cuts Costs And Boosts Morale

Mar 06, 2014

St Andrews University has claimed its award-winning data centre has boosted IT staff morale as well as delivering £65,000 of savings to the institution.

This is according to Steven Watt, CIO at the university. He says the information facility has cut electricity bills to the point where £1.4m could be saved over 10 years.

Watt joined the university in 2010 where his new job was to support 4100 PCs across 147 campus buildings, with 400 servers running across 50 sites.

He claims one of the biggest challenges he faced was the cost of energy while honouring the education establishment’s commitment to be carbon neutral by 2016.

Despite this, Watt worries about the dangers of viewing the sustainability of the data centre solely in terms of its costs and energy efficiency.

“I don’t see a time in the future when data centres become fully sustainable, especially when looking at their component parts,” he said, speaking to the UK press.

“For example, our students are very interested in the ethics around conflict minerals and full sustainability can’t really happen when you look at all the component parts of a modern data centre,” he added.  

However, the information chief has his own measures of success, including staff and student satisfaction, enablement of core business processes, increased systems availability and the perception of his own team.

“Staff morale is up. The department knows it’s not seen as a team supporting a failing infrastructure,” he said.

“We were trying to reduce the variety of what we support. Reducing costs along the way and also adding value back so we’re not just seen as a cost sink for reducing the amount of real estate consumed,” Watt elaborated.




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