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UNB s newly renovated data centre builds the foundation for the next level of shared IT Services in NB PEI higher education

Author: Communications

Posted on Jan 29, 2016

Category: UNB Fredericton

UNB’s refurbished data centre, located on the Fredericton campus, provides secure, reliable, economical and sustainable IT facilities for the higher education sector.

The University of New Brunswick (UNB) is celebrating the grand opening of its newly renovated data centre on Tuesday, February 2, at 9 a.m. The event will include a site tour, photographs and brief message from UNB President, Dr. Eddy Campbell.

Featuring fully redundant power, modern cooling systems, networking and data storage, the state-of-the-art facility will host information technology services for not only UNB, but several other institutions in New Brunswick (NB) and Prince Edward Island (PEI) through the Educational Computer Network (ECN) consortium, a joint initiative between NB and PEI universities and colleges to share IT services among its members.

“The data centre has a much larger capacity than before, which opens the doors to many exciting new opportunities for collaboration and resource sharing within the ECN,” explained Terry Nikkel, Associate Vice-President, Information Technology Services (ITS) at UNB.

According to Nikkel, in addition to increasing the reliability and sustainability of UNB’s IT systems, the refurbished space now has the capacity to house the technology infrastructure of other ECN member institutions. “It [the data centre] will allow us [UNB and the ECN] to take further advantage of economies of scale, resulting in significant cost savings for everyone including the institutions and the provinces.”

UNB’s data centre already hosts some key IT services shared by the ECN, including SharePoint, an online collaboration platform for file management and sharing, as well as core networking equipment that connects the NB/PEI higher-ed institutions to the rest of the Canadian research and education community and beyond. The ECN was recognized last year with an award from CUCCIO, Canada’s national organization of university CIOs, for its unique model of providing IT services across institutional and provincial boundaries.

“The renovations are an integral part of both ITS and the ECN’s strategic plans, providing a foundation upon which to build even more collaborative and economic IT services,” Nikkel stated.

The $1.5 million investment, partially funded by the ECN, is designed to serve the core IT needs of UNB and the ECN for at least the next 10 years.

About the Educational Computer Network (ECN)

Established over 40 years ago, the ECN consortium is made up of universities and colleges in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Their mission is to ensure high quality Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services for all their members.

In 2015, the ECN received the Canadian University Council of Chief Information Officers’ (CUCCIO) inaugural national Collaboration Award, which recognizes initiatives promoting collaboration within the higher education IT sector.

For more information, contact Terry Nikkel, Associate Vice-President, Information Technology Services (UNB).

Media contact: Nicole Smith