Evoking IU’s late president Myles Brand as one of the first to “clearly see the emerging importance of information technology for higher education,” IU President Michael McRobbie formally dedicated IU’s new $32.7 million Data Center.
During dedication remarks, McRobbie, who became IU’s first vice president for information technology in 1996 while under Brand, reflected on the list of remarkable IT achievements since, from IU’s path-breaking enterprise license agreement with Microsoft and creation of the Internet 2 Network Operations Center, both in 1998, to the $45 million granted by Lilly Endowment Inc. since 1999 for the Pervasive Technology Institute, and creation of the IU School of Informatics in 2000.
“But as IU’s capabilities in IT in education and research, and as a key component of the university management, exploded, the lack of adequate facilities to house IU’s core IT infrastructure became ever more egregious,” McRobbie told a standing room only audience of more than 300 guests. “It takes but a minute to reflect on the consequences of a month at IU without IT. It would bring most of the activities of this institution to a complete and disastrous halt.”
The facility protects such assets as the supercomputers Big Red and Quarry and the Bloomington hub of Indiana’s statewide I-Light network.