The true cost of maintaining IT infrastructure

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Information Technology
Women with a computer standing in a server room performing maintenance tasks.
Just like the air we breathe, IT infrastructure is all around us, but we’re not always aware of its presence.

(2-minute read)

In a post-pandemic world, we are more dependent on technology than ever. The University is no exception. Whether you’re attending a lecture from home, conducting research from your lab, joining a Zoom or Teams meeting, you are using the IT infrastructure every second without even realizing it’s there. It is the foundational technology piece (network, servers, software) that enables all the digital services, collaboration, research, teaching, and administrative operations of the University. 

Think about it – your smart phone, your laptop, or other device that connects to the University or Internet services like uoZone, BrightSpace, Microsoft 365, Netflix, YouTube, Tiktok is constantly communicating over the infrastructure to get updated information, check for new email, get notifications, and more.  

The University has 3,000 wireless access points that each cost about $850 (that’s over $2.5 million combined!) Why does it cost so much and why are there so many? Because we have over 30,000 users on campus daily with over 60,000 devices! This isn’t your typical home Wi-Fi. These access points need to be replaced every 5 years to provide you with better speeds, more reliable Wi-Fi, and a better experience as the march of progress continues and our technology needs increase. 

But that’s not all! There are thousands of other technology pieces that make up the University’s IT infrastructure. This includes over 1,800 servers, hundreds of networking components, power, cooling, backups, and more. These are significant investments in making sure the University can function at its best. 

Information Technology is working with our governance councils and administration to meet the Transformation 2030 objectives of establishing a sustainable IT infrastructure, an evergreening plan so that the services you use, the work that you do, the courses you attend can be properly supported by a reliable IT infrastructure for years to come.