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IT Strategic Planning

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Data Center Relocation Options

The Data Center Relocation project is underway with Amazon Web Services (AWS) assisting with migration readiness planning. The sixteen-week effort organized into work streams is designed to prepare Information Technology Services staff to move major systems and services to the cloud environment. Updates will be posted to this page.


January 6
The migration of Identify Management (IDM) occurred during the holiday break with a few remaining services that will move January 12 from 7am to 10 pm. Also the first release patch for the Admissions application occurred during the break, which was a first since moving to the cloud.

December 2
Since FIS, HRIS, and KSIS have moved to the cloud, the systems are entering an operations and stabilization period. To date more than 292 machines have been migrated to the KU data center, VMWare on AWS or Native AWS. The AWS - MRP project close out is slated for the end of January, when ITS moves to operations mode.

November 25
HRIS and KSIS migrated to managed services. uAchieve migrated to VMC. We have 511 VMs remaining to move. Kudos to all the IT staff who worked over the last year to plan and execute a cloud first strategy.

November 18
The Financial Information System (FIS) moved to managed services on Nov. 18. The next move includes HRIS and KSIS (including DARS uAchieve). Both systems will be unavailable beginning 7 p.m. on Nov. 21.

November 11
The CommVault workstream was completed on Oct 22. The Cloud Center of Excellence is discussing cloud metrics, cloud maturity and the pilot with the College of Business and the research enclave. The Canvas LTI went to VMWare on AWS on Thursday, Nov. 7. The Admissions Applications went live Nov 14, which is a major milestone. The migration of the ERP systems (FIS, KSIS, and HRIS) to managed services begins Nov 15. Systems will be unavailable during the downtime. For more information visit the ITS Status Page.

October 4
Working through migrating the Admissions Application in Native AWS. The test, demo and dev instances of ERP systems have been delivered. Getting ready to prepare functional users for testing. In the process of migrating VMWare on AWS.

September 16
Information Technology signed off on the HR development environment. Testing is still occurring with FIS and KSIS. The test environments of HR, FIS and KSIS should be delivered to K-State this week.

September 9
Sierra Cedar has delivered the development environments for our ERP systems to K-State. The test environments are slated to be delivered on Sept. 18. VMC kickoff continues this week. The CCoE Steering Committee kicks off on September 12. Three test environments (CTAM, Job App, SGA Election) have moved to Lawrence.

August 26
The development instance of HRIS is available in the cloud. Commvault training begins on August 27. Staff have been invited to participate in Technical Essentials scheduled for Sept 27. Immersion Day registration scheduled for Oct 30 will be available this week.

August 19
We should have the FIS and HRIS development environments available to functional staff this week. The VMC (VMware Cloud) kickoff is planned for Sept 3. The AWS-MRP team is working through roadblocks to clear the way for the final weeks of the project. 

August 12
The team continues to work on landing zones. We are planning the migration path for the five systems and identifying and removing gaps as we move forward and mature. Virtual training for Technical Essentials is scheduled for September 27. An AWS Immersion Day is scheduled for October 30 on campus.

July 29
Application discovery is occurring in conjunction with Sierra Cedar. The feasibility study for the on-premise data center remains under discussion. The team began meeting with functional leads to discuss the project and expectations. The on-premise backup is in the final stages of completion. The Cloud Center of Excellence Charter will be shared and reviewed by the extended leadership team. The AWS - MRP is ahead of schedule.

July 22
Completed the feasibility study for the on-premise data center, which is in the process of being reviewed. We are in the process of standing up the Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) including the charter, documentation, membership and more. The VMC kickoff will occur in the next few weeks. Approximately 87% of the respondents have completed the Learning Needs Analysis.

July 17
The integration platform as a service (iPaaS) is about 75% complete. Vendors have been onsite this week assisting with the migration. The integration platform as a service (iPaaS) is about 75% complete. Staff working on the project have been asked to complete the Learning Needs Analysis.

July 11 
We are in the seventh week of the 16-week sprint. This week, the focus was on the landing zones, security, the migration pilot, training roadmap, and the Cloud Center of Excellence charter. Next week, work continues with vendors on site.


The graph below shows a high-level overview of the project status.

Graph showing the timeline and milestones for the data center relocation project

The above graph depicts the timeline and milestones for the data center relocation project as of December 2, 2019. The planning process for the move to a new on-premise data center began on April 1, 2019, with a tentative end date of February 5, 2020. The move from existing WebMethods to an integration platform as a service solution began on April 8, 2019, with a proposed end date of March 23, 2020. The move of the critical workloads via VMWare to Amazon Web Services (AWS) began May 6, 2019, and will conclude on July 30, 2019. Amazon Web Services Migration Readiness Planning began May 13, 2019, and concludes August 19, 2019. The timeframe to implement a reliable backup and recovery solution is May 28 to September 16, 2019. The move of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to managed services in the AWS cloud is from July 15 to Dec 13, 2019.

What is the timeline for the relocation of the data center?

The plan is for critical systems to be moved to the cloud by March 2020. Prior to the fire, ITS was planning the move of critical services to the cloud. The fire and subsequent water and smoke damage accelerated our timeline. 

Will there be a physical data center on campus?

Yes, the location of the physical data center is still to be determined. Some services (DHCP, DNS, print services, authentication) will need to remain on campus.

Will systems be down during the relocation of the data center?

There might be some downtime while we relocate the on-premise data center and move critical services to the cloud.

What caused damage to the data center?

A fire on the roof of Hale was started unintentionally during hot work performed by a roofing contractor as part of scheduled roof repairs for Hale Library.  As a result, hundreds of thousands of gallons of water were used to put out the fire. Smoke and water damage impacted the lifespan of the data center and shortened the planning process and timeline for relocating critical IT services and the move to our cloud-first strategy.