IT Infrastructure

IT Infrastructure

PARI understands that high-speed, reliable and secure networking, computer and storage services located in redundant data centers are cornerstones of a productive user experience, and has designed and built infrastructure suited to the demanding needs of the instruments of science and their users.

PARI’s extensive fiber optic network throughout the campus uses carrier-grade core switches and routers to reliably carry data at multi-gigabit rates throughout the campus and to our regional network service providers.

Network nodes using carrier-grade components were chosen for their manageability, scalability and reliability. Following the industry standard three-tiered modular design approach, each access node has multiple links to the distribution and core. Each distribution node has redundant power supplies. Each core node additionally contains redundant processors and interfaces to provide greater reliability.

Essential network services are provided using high quality computer hardware with solid server-class operating systems and software. These servers provide email, basic addressing services, redundant file storage services with an offsite mirror, firewall-protected Internet connectivity, encrypted virtual private networks for secure remote access, and a rich dynamic website with many live data sources to local and Internet users. These servers additionally provide secure remote control of radio and optical instruments, such as the Smiley radio telescope. Virtualization technologies are used to improve service availability and reduce the potential for radio frequency interference that would adversely impact our radio astronomy operations. Four EMC2 Clariion arrays, totaling nearly 400 terabytes in capacity, provide reliable and secure storage of data.

All critical network systems are provided regulated uninterruptible power, using carrier-grade uninterruptible power systems. A diesel generator that can provide power for at least 30 days without refueling automatically provides power for longer-term outages.

Data Centers

PARI’s remote location and extensive electrical and IT infrastructure make it an ideal setting for data center space for many organizations. Physical barrier access control with RFID key cards provides easy client accessibility, and continuous video surveillance with a full alarm system provides excellent physical security.

PARI data centers are concentrated in two locations:

  • Cline Administration Building main data center and potential build-out space: PARI’s main operational data center is located in the Cline Administration Building. This data center currently occupies approximately 1,300 square feet of raised floor space and has 125 kilovolt-amperes (kVA) of power capacity with 48 kVA on UPS, and 3 ten-ton Leibert computer-room air conditioner (CRAC) units. Security is provided with RFID key cards, 24/7 stored video surveillance, and a full alarm system with multiple alarm communication paths. Fiber optic connectivity is available to multiple service providers over multiple physically-separate routes. Depending upon client needs, power redundancy to two substations and two generators can be provided.

    Additional raised floor space with Leibert CRAC units and 125kVA of potentially redundant power can be made available for future expansion.

  • Research Building redundant data center, MCNC data center, and build-out space: The Research Building contains two operational data centers and about 4,000 square feet of additional raised floor space for future expansion. PARI operates a redundant data center with 640 sq.ft. of space, sharing power and CRAC units with MCNC’s approximately 1,200 sq.ft. of space. Three 15-ton CRAC units, a 45-ton chiller, and 150kVA of UPS-protected power service these spaces. Power redundancy to a second generator and substation is available as well. Redundant fiber optic connectivity through multiple providers and over physically disparate routes is available. Security is provided with RFID key cards, 24/7 stored video surveillance, and a full alarm system with multiple alarm communication paths.

    The Research Building also contains an additional 4,000 square feet of raised floor space that can be built out to suit. Office suites with one or two rooms are also available. The space is cooled with redundant 70-ton chillers with associated redundant air handlers. Up to 225kVA of UPS protected power at 480VAC three-phase is available for client-provided power distribution units (PDUs). All critical systems are provided uninterruptible power using a 500kVA carrier-grade UPS, with the option of redundant generator and non-UPS protected substation facilities. A 500kVA diesel generator provides power for longer-term outages and can run several weeks using onsite fuel.

IT and engineering staff

PARI understands that sensitive research-grade instrumentation does not stand alone but requires personnel with the proper training in its installation, operation, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair for optimal performance. PARI’s IT and engineering staff possesses best-in-class experience, training, and abilities. Our full-time staff includes personnel with undergraduate and graduate degrees from accredited universities in the fields of aerospace engineering, computer science, electronics engineering technology, and chemistry. Each staff member has years of experience in their respective field and also working on research-grade instrumentation systems on the unique PARI campus.

PARI currently has two fully-equipped videoconference rooms connected to the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN):

  • A 2,300 sq. ft. reconfigurable multimedia classroom/meeting room outfitted with a 720p high-definition Polycom videoconference system; a 1080p projector with a 12 ft (diagonal) 16:9 screen; second 1080p projector with a whiteboard; surround sound system; a presentation-ready dual-monitor PC; DVD, VHS, and Blu-ray media playback; more than 60 wired Ethernet connections; more than 100 power connections; and seating for up to 125. Two distinct room areas can be arranged with chairs and tables (round and/or rectangular).

  • A 480 sq. ft. conference room outfitted with a standard definition Sony videoconference system; a Polycom teleconference phone system; a 1080p projector with a 9 ft (diagonal) 16:9 screen; surround sound system with Blu-ray, USB, and network playback; 48 wired Ethernet connections; 64 power connections; and seating for up to 12 around the conference table and 22 around the periphery of the room.