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Out with the old, in with the new (servers, that is)

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HSU has finally retired the last of the Alpha servers, originally acquired in the early 2000s. All data center servers are now appropriately-architected for a future that revolves around cloud computing, virtualized environments, and other web-based initiatives. Read more about HSU server evolution ...

Back in the early 2000s, HSU purchased a number of Alpha servers to host the University website, email system, mailing lists, applications, and databases. Since 2007, we’ve been gradually retiring outdated systems and their host servers, replacing them with hardware that’s better architected to support cloud computing, virtualized environments, and other online developments while still maintaining high performance and robust security.

On Wednesday, July 20th, 2011, the last of the Alpha servers were taken out of the HSU data center. Their hard drives have been removed and the data securely destroyed, and the servers themselves have been responsibly recycled so their remains will not pollute the environment. 

As an added bonus, retiring the Alpha servers has resulted in significant cost-savings to the University for hardware maintenance, reduced energy costs, and annual licensing fees. 

Upcoming developments that will take advantage of the upgraded server infrastructure include: 

  • Virtual labs for anywhere, anytime lab work
  • Document management and workflow automation for greater admin efficiency
  • Campus-wide portal – access to all HSU online resources in one place

For those interested in such things, here’s a brief timeline of the Alpha servers’ demise and what drove each replacement server decision: 

Server name
Old function
New function
Date replaced
March 2007
Zimbra, then Google
October 2008
Web server
Central web service
October 2009
Student & Mail Lists
Network Folders/Google Groups
February 2010
March 2011