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Three-for-One Technology: Better Features, Lower Costs, Going Green

Posted Apr. 7, 2014
enter photo description
Ed Mahon (second from left), Kent State University's vice
president for information services and the university’s chief
information officer, is surrounded by staff of his division as
he shuts down the university's obsolete tape library, saving
the university money.

Kent State University’s Division of Information Services last week formally retired two major obsolete systems as part of the division’s strategy to respond to advances in technology and save resources.

The two systems, the tape library of stored information and the telephone PBX (private branch exchange) switch, have been replaced by upgraded technology, and will result in cost savings related to data centers in Moulton Hall and the Kent Campus Library.

“Retiring this equipment is part of an ongoing response in which we save money and put better technology in place of outmoded systems,” says Ed Mahon, Kent State’s vice president for information services and the university’s chief information officer.

The updates will have significant benefits:

  • The new tape backup and restore system, with Quantum Disk-to-Disk Backup equipment replacing the Tape Library shown in the photo, saves 260 square feet in the Library data center.
  • The new Unified Communication system, replacing the PBX shown in the photo, saves 390 square feet of space in the data centers.
  • Approximately 16 kilowatt hours of electricity will be saved. At the Kent State rate for power, this amounts to an annual savings of $11,940.
  • Shutting down the PBX equipment and the Tape Library will save about $5,900 a year from the reduction in Computer Room air conditioning alone.
  • Labor saving from eliminating daily tape processing will be 180 hours per year.
  • Savings and convenience also will result from eliminating the need to store tapes in an off-site center and constantly moving tapes back and forth. This annual savings in tape storage and shipment will be about $20,400. The disk system also allows faster file restoration when recovering lost or accidentally deleted files.
  • For data recovery in an emergency, the Quantum Disk-to-Disk Backup removes the cost and delay of manually shipping tapes to the Disaster Recovery facility before the recovery can begin.
  • The cost in expense and time also is removed for Division of Information Services’ staff members who no longer need to travel during data recovery exercises or emergencies.
enter photo description
Staff of Kent State University's Division of Information
Services pose for a photo as Ed Mahon (back row, far
right), Kent State's vice president for information services
and the university’s chief information officer, turns off the
telephone PBX (private branch exchange) switch.

“Our goal as always is to reduce technical complexity and enhance reliability, so we can focus more of our staff time on student and faculty needs,” Mahon says.

Within the last two years, the Division of Information Services boosted university productivity by retiring or upgrading eight technology systems. These advances include email, online learning, online communications and server reconfiguration.

“We will continue our comprehensive plan to find ways to save resources and improve communications technology for the Kent State community,” Mahon says. 

For more information about Kent State's Division of Information Services, visit