Host NCAR/UCAR computers at MLCF

The Mesa Lab Data Center (MLDC) has been repurposed to house the majority of the enterprise-class IT equipment for NCAR and UCAR. Its continuing mission will provide significant value to researchers for many years into the future. The MLDC currently provides infrastructure resources for NCAR, UCAR, and UCP programs and divisions including ACOM, CGD, CISL, COMET, COSMIC, F&A, Globe, HAO, LIB, JOSS, and RAL. Along with UCAR Facilities Management, Safety, and Sustainability (FMS&S), CISL completed a comprehensive plan to refurbish and operate the MLDC as a centralized co-location facility for the growing numbers of smaller-scale systems deployed across NCAR, UCAR, and member universities. This renovation will update architectural, mechanical, and electrical infrastructure features to provide an efficient, resilient, and secure computing facility infrastructure in support of NCAR’s mission.

The MLDC continues to be a key part of the CISL cyberinfrastructure strategy. Critical data sets and data services are replicated between NWSC and MLDC, providing a robust infrastructure to ensure our stewardship of important data sets. For NCAR more broadly, the MLDC hosts systems for key scientific programs and applications. Finally, the strategy to refurbish MLDC allows UCAR to phase out support for multiple smaller facilities and enhance the energy efficiency of the organization, reduce costs, and maintain responsible environmental stewardship.

CISL and FMS&S completed cost estimation, phasing, construction documents, and specifications for the MLDC in FY2016. In FY2017, CISL and FMS&S completed the initial proposal phase soliciting proposals from general contractors for Phase 1 construction. The project is now pending NSF approval and could begin in late FY2018. CISL has invested significant time and effort into preparing the MLDC for the renovation construction project while maintaining operations. The construction area has been isolated from the current production computing area so that contractors can begin the renovation immediately upon receiving NSF approval to proceed.

Once Phase 1 renovation is complete, CISL data center administrators have prepared plans for the mass migration of computing equipment and management systems from the current temporary data center into the newly renovated data center.

Funding for the MLDC is supported by NSF Special funds and UCAR overhead funding from the UCAR Communications pool.