CCI Data Center Row Typing on computer

What is CCI?

CCI is a campus sponsored and governed initiative delivering a portfolio of shared, scalable IT infrastructure services designed to meet the needs of our campus partners.  The initial portfolio of services are: Virtual and Physical Server Hosting, Storage, and Backup.

The vision is to develop the next generation of Campus IT services that meet the teaching, research, and service missions of UW-Madison, through partnerships aligned around both business and technology.

These partnerships are built through face-to-face meetings conducted by our engagement team, which consists of our Engagement Manager, Rhonda Davis, and our Solutions Architect, Michael Layde.

To learn more about CCI, please contact Rhonda and Michael at cci@cio.wisc.edu

The Strategy for CCI

On campus, groups are at various stages of their business and IT life cycles. In order for us to come together as an IT community and utilize shared IT infrastructure services we need a collaborative, flexible strategy:

Augment

Augment your current services

Augmenting your current services allows you to continue running your environment as-is but also utilizing shared services to enhance your IT services.

Examples of augmenting include: using shared file storage services for your group directories or co-locating a server with CCI

Adopt

Adopt shared services where it makes sense for you

Adopting shared services where it makes sense for you allows you to identify key areas where it might make sense to use CCI services rather than running it on your own.

Examples of adopting include: choosing to move backups to Bucky Backup or moving all of your archive data to shared storage or moving your web servers to CCI Virtual Server Hosting.

Align

Align your IT strategic vision in partnership with CCI

Aligning your IT strategic vision in partnership with CCI allows you to road map along with or alongside of CCI. CCI isn't going to work for everyone, but in the future when you have equipment that is aging out we can have a discussion about what CCI services might make sense for you. Aligning your vision with us allows us to know where you are currently at and how may be able to help in the future.

Examples of aligning include: choosing to move all of your IT infrastructure services to CCI over the next couple of years or letting us know that you will run your environment as-is until a major investment comes up and then engaging CCI to see how we can help.

How CCI Can Help

The CCI Team is focused on meeting you where you are by offering flexible, cost-effective IT infrastructure services. Below is the initial portfolio of services available today:

Virtual Server Hosting

The first service built for the CCI initiative is Virtual Server Hosting, also known as CCI Virtualization. We met with campus partners to gather requirements and built the service to meet those requirements as much as possible. The initial focus is on self-provisioning, but the service will iteratively improve by adding new features along the way.

The new service offers self-provisioning, daily billing, and scalable infrastructure to meet your needs.  To get started, please see Obtaining Access to CCI Virtualization.  To learn more about the service (like features and timelines), visit the CCI KnowledgeBase.

Physical Server Hosting

Due to limited space in our data centers physical server hosting requests are handled on a case-by-case basis. If you need physical server hosting, also known as co-location, reach out to us to discuss options.

Storage

There are a wide variety of storage options available to help meet your data needs. Our Scale-out storage is great for file shares, home directories, and large data sets. The High Performance storage is great for databases, virtual environments, and high availability data sets. You can choose file and/or block options for both the Scale-out and High Performance storage. Available protocols include: CIFS, NFS, iSCSI, Direct Attached, SFTP, and more.

Benefits of utilizing shared storage are:

  • Scalable - you can request only what you need today and easily grow into more storage as you need it
  • Low Maintenance - you will never have to replace a hard drive again - we take care of that!
  • Flexible - multiple ways to connect and authenticate (like using your local Active Directory)

Backup

Bucky Backup services are available to protect your data. There are three options to choose from:

  • Bucky Backup Enterprise - great for mission critical data that needs multiple protection layers (data stored on disk and on tape)
  • Bucky Backup Lite - great for important data that needs an off-site copy (data stored on disk)
  • Bucky Backup Archive - great for data that needs to be kept but not regularly accessed (data stored on tape)

Future Services

Future CCI services will be developed in collaboration with campus partners based on campus requirements. Contact us if you have an idea or need for a new service.

What Are the Rates?

Service Cost Per Day Cost Per Month Cost Per Year
Virtual Server Hosting
Per vCPU $0.49 $15 $180
Per GB RAM $0.137 $4.17 $50
Per GB Auto-Tier Disk $0.003 $0.083 $1.00
Storage
Per GB Scale-Out N/A $0.016 $0.20
Per GB High Performance N/A $0.083 $1.00
Backup
Per GB Bucky Backup Enterprise N/A $0.311 $3.73
Per GB Bucky Backup Lite N/A $0.033 $0.40
Per GB Bucky Backup Archive N/A $0.025 $0.30

Notes:

  • All services are billed monthly. Virtual server costs are calculated hourly and billed monthly. This means you can spin up a server for a day, a month, a year or however long you need it for.
  • A typical VM (2 CPU, 4 GB RAM, 40 GB Disk) costs $50 per month or $600 per year.
  • Operating System (OS) licensing costs are variable depending on the OS you choose. The costs for the license will be passed through to you as an additional charge.  OS Charges will be: $60 per year for Windows and $96 per year for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
  • Additional services like system administration, patch management, database support, consulting, etc. are available on a time and materials basis. Contact us to learn more.

What’s included in the Rates?

CCI is delivering services, not just technologies. Below are all the components added to the technology to deliver a service:

Component Details
Security We have a partnership with the Office of Cybersecurity to ensure that our infrastructure meets the necessary security controls.
Consulting We offer service consulting to ensure the right fit and a smooth transition; we also share best practices from previous engagements.
Billing & Reporting We provide monthly billing statements and reporting capabilities to assist with right-sizing.
Design, Planning, & Management We have architected the environments to meet UW policy and security guidelines; we will also plan future upgrades to meet evolving campus needs.
Communications We have written accurate and up-to-date KnowledgeBase documents to help you use the CCI environments; we also have a web portal for virtualization which provides service information and support.
Identity & Access Management We have integrated the CCI environments with Campus Active Directory and Manifest so that they can be used as needed.
Service Management The CCI environments are monitored by our 24x7 Network Operations Center; we also use IT Service Management to handle changes and incidents to the CCI environments.
Data Management We provide data mirroring for the CCI Virtualization environment, but individual VM data mirroring is up to the users; we also provide performance and security monitoring for the CCI environments.
Platform We provide an automated self-provisioning portal for the CCI virtualization environment; We take care of the hypervisor/firmware updates for the CCI environments; we also manage the hypervisor and Operating System licensing for the CCI environments.
Infrastructure We handle the life cycle management of all the CCI hardware; we manage all hardware repairs and issues for the CCI environments; we integrate the environments with campus high-speed networking
Facilities We house the CCI infrastructure in our data centers with redundant power and cooling; we provide physical security for the CCI infrastructure through video monitoring and card access

 

How We Engage with You

CCI follows an engagement framework which allows us to focus on your business and technical requirements first, and then identify potential solutions for you based on your needs. We want to partner with you no matter where you are in your IT life cycle.

There is no charge for our engagement team and we are happy to have a discussion any time, so please reach out to Rhonda and Mike at cci@cio.wisc.edu

Below is our framework that has been utilized on nearly 100 engagements:

WEBSITE - Engagment FW

CCI in Action

How the UW MOOCs Augmented Video Storage with CCI

UW Madison’s Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are unique virtual teaching, learning and research experiences that are not for credit, aimed at unlimited participation and available at no cost to learners around the world.  A critical part to these MOOCs are the online videos that go along with the other educational content. The Video Team working on the UW MOOCs were creating a lot of large raw video files that needed to be kept an extended period of time.  Initially they were storing these videos on local hard drives or external hard drives but they were interested in finding a more scalable, secure solution.  

Camera man video taping a student for a UW MOOC Camera man shooting video for a UW MOOC

The Video Team reached out to CCI and we were able to provide them with shared, scalable file storage that would allow them to keep the data long-term, scale it as needed, and share it with other campus groups.  They still keep some media locally for editing and other purposes, but they were able to augment their video storage with flexible, cost-effective CCI shared storage.

How WHS Adopted Shared Storage for Digital Collections

The Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) helps people connect to the past by  collecting, preserving and sharing stories.  These past several years have seen a tremendous increase in the number of born-digital state, local and manuscript collections they are working to permanently preserve for future generations.  One of the many things that WHS does to help meet this mission is recovering data off of aging technology and digitizing oral histories, interviews and video that are in danger of being lost through the degradation of the media.

Sarah Grimm highlighting physical media they digitize. WHS Archivist, Sarah Grimm (left), showing some of the media they digitize and store on CCI shared storage.

Originally WHS was managing these digital collections on their own storage devices.  However, as the data continued to grow they found that the size of their collections was rapidly outpacing their storage capacity. They reached out to CCI to see if we could help, and we had a new, low-cost archival storage option available.  They did a pilot of this storage to see if it would work for their needs.  It did and has for the last 5 years.  They have adopted CCI storage for all of their archiving data needs.  The CCI storage has helped them scale from 3 TB to 80+ TB!

How L&S Administration Aligned with CCI

Letters and Science (L&S) Administration was using a server room located in Bascom Hall to host their IT equipment. The room had worked well for them over the years, but when CCI was announced they saw a potential partnership opportunity.

L&S Equipment

L&S Admin Equipment in CCI Data Center

We met with L&S Administration to learn about their environment, to learn about their needs and timeline, and to talk to them about potential options.  They were interested in our physical server hosting option so that they could re-purpose the server room for other academic needs. Fortunately we had the space available to host their equipment after they were able to consolidate it down and so we moved into the planning stage.

We carefully worked through the technical details and planned each step of the move. We wanted to move everything, both physically and logically, in one weekend. This was no small task!  Our Engagement Team worked closely with the L&S Administration Team and we built up trust over the course of the planning stage. Once everything was planned out and everyone was comfortable we picked a date.

We did the move on a Saturday to minimize impact to end users and it was a success! We were able to move everything over and get services back online that same day. The advanced planning on both sides made this possible, and they have been running smoothly ever since.

 

We are very happy with our decision to shut down our own server room and move to the CCI data center.

– Griffith Randel, L&S Administration

 

Building CCI Together

There are two CCI advisory bodies: the Administrative Advisory Group and the Operational Advisory Group. These groups allow campus to have formal participation in the CCI initiative, and it gives them a voice in shaping the portfolio of services.

Administrative Advisory Group

The Administrative Advisory Group coordinates the administrative positioning of the CCI initiative on campus. This is accomplished through membership from Administrative Process Redesign (APR); with key campus administration partners such as Facilities Planning & Management (FP&M), University Records Management, Risk Management, Libraries, and the Office of Cybersecurity; complementary campus initiatives such as Advanced Computing Infrastructure (ACI); and, representatives from business and financial operations in campus colleges and departments. This group meets quarterly.

 

Operational Advisory Group

The Operational Advisory Group provides input on operations and service components of the CCI initiative. As the CCI services have been developed over the past several months, this input has been less formal and realized through public meetings, input on specifications and requirements for CCI technologies, pilot testing of service components, input and review of service policies, and utilization of CCI services. Convening a formal group has been timed to match the rollout of the Virtual Server Hosting service. The Kick-Off meeting for the formal large-group meeting happened in October 2015, please see the Meeting Notes.

CCI also works in conjunction with existing Campus IT Governance. We regularly provide reports to, and get feedback from the Madison Technical Advisory Group (MTAG) and the Information Technology Committee (ITC).

Campus Partnerships

CCI is collaborating with campus partners to leverage the expertise and resources they bring to campus:

  • Advanced Computing Initiative (ACI) – CCI & ACI are collaborating on new storage services that specifically help support researchers
  • Office of Cybersecurity – CCI & the Office of Cybersecurity are partnering on identifying services and business processes that store restricted data elements to ensure that appropriate controls are in place to protect University data
  • Research Data Services (RDS) – CCI & RDS are collaborating together on integrating shared infrastructure into research data management plans
  • Risk Management - CCI is partnering with UW Risk Management to ensure that  all the appropriate guidelines and policies are being met
  • UW-Madison Records Management – CCI & the UW Records Officer are working together to provide the campus community with best practices on how to safely store their records in a managed environment

We Want to Hear From You!

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You can also reach out to us directly by emailing cci@cio.wisc.edu.

Where We Started

In 2012, a cross-campus, Administrative Excellence (AE) team identified opportunities for efficiencies through Data Center Aggregation (DCA). Nearly 100 data centers were identified on campus. In February 2014, the DCA analysis was completed and it was ready to be operationalized as the CCI initiative.

For more background on the DCA project, please review the Final Report.

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Developing the next generation of Campus IT services, that meet the teaching, research and service missions of UW-Madison, through partnerships aligned around both business and technology.

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