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Universiti Teknologi Malaysia prepares State-Of-The-Art Data Centre, UTM Smart Campus, and Campus Wide Network Coverage

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is well renowned for being a university at the forefront of engineering and technological knowledge and expertise, fostering knowledge sharing and strong skills development.

Last year, UTM hosted 5,000 foreign students from over 60 countries- which is the highest out of all research universities in Malaysia.

As a leader in technology and research, it comes to no surprise that UTM is initiating a strategic plan to shape itself into a Smarter Campus.

OpenGov reached out to Prof Dr Ali bin Selamat, Director of Centre for Information & Communication Technology (CICT), to learn more about what is being done to digitally transform the UTM campus.

There are 3 main initiatives that will be carried out by CICT UTM for 2016, namely: UTM Data Centre (UTM DC), UTM Smart Campus, and Campus Wide Network Coverage.

UTM Data Centre to host ICT Services and Apps

The first initiative is the establishment of a new data centre for UTM. The new UTM Data Centre is a state-of-the-art data centre that will host UTM ICT services and applications.

“The UTM DC is designed based on the latest data centre architecture and in its full capacity would be able to offer 99.98 percent data availability to UTM services and application consumers,” states Prof Dr. Ali bin Selamat.

The new data centre will be built on an 800 square meter area, which is double the size of the existing data centre. The new UTM DC will be equipped with infrastructure that is able to host 60 racks and 400 servers at one time.

The new DC, which is a Tier-3 data centre, will also be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including:

  • Two generator sets that are essential for preventing power failure downtime to the data centre,
  • In-row modular air-conditioning with containment,
  • Centralised Uninterruptable Power Supply and Redundancy in M&E Distribution Path,
  • 10/40Gbps Ethernet Data Centre Network,
  • Data Centre Network Monitoring System,
  •  And Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM).

With the new data center, CICT UTM will be able to offer a wide range of data center related services including hosting services, storage services and cloud computing based services.

“These services will not only be made available to UTM users (consisting of students and staff) but will also be made available to communities and businesses in the Skudai Innovation Valley area,” Prof Dr. Ali bin Selamat told us.

UTM Smart Campus to Empower Service Delivery System

The second initiative, UTM Smart Campus aims at providing an integrated service platform able to empower the service delivery system for UTM core business including teaching & learning, research management and administration services through smart digital initiatives.

“UTM Smart Campus initiative encompasses four layers of execution: digital infrastructure, digital infostructure, digital services and digital policies,” said Prof Dr. Ali bin Selamat.

The Digital Infrastructure layer is the layer that provides the core infrastructure to support the overall UTM Smart Campus initiative. This infrastructure consists of Secured Network Infrastructure, UTM DC, Gigabits Network and High Performance Computing (HPC).

The next layer, Digital Infostructure layer includes essential and supporting organizational information structure, required to support New Academia Learning Initiatives and Organisational Business Intelligence.

On top of the digital infostructure layer, a range of Digital Services will be made available to the UTM Smart Campus community.

“The Digital Services will be provided in stages to support the UTM Smart Campus initiative involving e-Healthcare, High Performance Computing (HPC) Research Facilities for Scientific Applications, Academic Applications, Administrative and Support Applications, e-Transportation and Smart Office Applications,” Prof Dr. Ali bin Selamat explained.

In order to ensure the success and effectiveness of the UTM Smart Campus initiative, UTM will also introduce a UTM Smart Campus Policy. This policy will act as guidelines and procedures for optimizing the UTM Smart Campus experience.

Campus Wide Connectivity at UTM

The third initiative, Campus Wide Network Coverage is UTM’s continuous effort to ensure the accessibility and availability of Internet access in all areas within UTM campuses.

“Currently, Internet access through WiFi infrastructure is available at all UTM Johor Bahru campus residential colleges and 70 percent of UTM Kuala Lumpur campus residential colleges,” Prof Dr. Ali bin Selamat told us,

“For UTM Kuala Lumpur campus academic and administrative buildings, 100 percent Internet coverage has been achieved, this is compared to 70 percent Internet coverage at UTM Johor Bahru campus.”

By adding to and improving on the existing network infrastructure, UTM will be able to provide 100 percent Internet access to the entire administrative and academic buildings, as well as its dispersed residential colleges.

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