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Data Center and Server Room Policy


The purpose of the Data Center and Server Room Policy is to describe the minimum requirements for designing, installing, securing, monitoring, maintaining, protecting, and decommissioning a data center or server room at the University of Kansas.

Applies to: 

University employees (faculty, staff, and student employees), students, and other covered individuals (e.g., University affiliates, vendors, independent contractors, etc.) in their access and usage of University technology resources during the course of conducting University business (administrative, financial, teaching, research, or service).

Policy Statement: 

All data centers or server rooms performing any type of computer technology work under the auspices of the University shall implement and maintain their respective technology services via the approved Kansas University Data Center and Server Room Standards only.

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

Exceptions to this policy and associated standards shall be allowed only if previously approved by the KU Information Technology Security Office and such approval documented and verified by the Chief Information Officer.


Faculty, staff, and student employees who violate this University policy may be subject to disciplinary action for misconduct and/or performance based on the administrative process appropriate to their employment.

Students who violate this University policy may be subject to proceedings for non-academic misconduct based on their student status.

Faculty, staff, student employees, and students may also be subject to the discontinuance of specified information technology services based on policy violation


Chief Information Officer
345 Strong Hall
1450 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, KS 66045

Approved by: 
Chief Information Officer
Approved on: 
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Effective on: 
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)

The standards associated with this policy are designed to represent the baseline to be used by the Data Center and Server Rooms located on the University of Kansas main and satellite campuses. While specific-standards organizations are referenced for examples of best practices, it should be noted that site conditions, special requirements, and cost of modification will be taken into consideration when implementing the final configuration of a site. The standards will be regularly reviewed and updated based on new industry standards, new technology, and lessons learned.


These definitions apply to these terms as they are used in this document.

CAT 6: Category 6 cable, commonly referred to as Cat-6, is a cable standard for Gigabit Ethernet and other network protocols that feature more stringent specifications for crosstalk and system noise.

CRAC: Computer room air conditioner

Data Center: A large facility designed to support large numbers of servers in a large conditioned room. Data Centers are usually composed of a large number of racks (25 or more) and are manned 24/7/365.

EMF: Electro magnetic fields

eWaste: Electronic equipment disposal service provided by Information Technology on the KU campus

HEPA/S: High Efficiency Particulate Air filters are used in vacuums cleaners in computer rooms to collect fine dust particles.

Hot/Cold Aisles: A method of arranging computer racks which focuses cold air delivery at the front intake of a rack and expels hot air at the back. Rack rows are arranged so the backs of rows face each other and hot air is collected above the row by a ceiling plenum, which returns the air to the CRAC unit directly. The fronts of the racks face each other in a row that has vented tiles in the raised floor to deliver cold air to the rack fronts from the CRAC units.

HVAC: Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning

IP: Internet Protocol is a term used to indicate a connection to the network.

Level I information: University Information with a high risk of significant financial loss, legal liability, public distrust or harm if this data is disclosed

Level II information: University Information with a moderate requirement for Confidentiality and/or moderate or limited risk of financial loss, legal liability, public distrust, or harm if this data is disclosed.

NOC: Network Operations Center is the location in the Data Center, which is staffed 24/7/365 and monitors and responds to all incidents that affect service availability.

OM3: Fiber optic cable used to support high speed communication in the 10GB range.

PDU: Power distribution unit

PLC: Program Logic Control is a computer-based control system used to manage main power distribution switching panels.

Response Kit: A special tool kit used by Floor Space Planning technicians to support services on the Data Center Machine Room Floor.

Server Room: Typically a small conditioned space designed to support computing equipment. These are usually satellite processing centers supporting a specific department and not the entire enterprise. A server room at KU can also be defined as any room containing a server or servers critical to the support and operations of a unit or department and/or contains any Level I or II information as defined by the KU Data Classification and Handling Policy and/or Procedures Guide.

SLA/VRLA: Sealed Lead Acid/Value Regulated Lead Acid are two types of batteries that are used to support Data Center Machine rooms during loss of utility power. They are attached to a UPS system.

University Information: Data collected or managed by the University to support University activities. University Information may include records as well as other data and documents.

UPS: Uninterruptible Power Supply is a system used to condition utility power before it is fed to computer systems and provides power failure ride-thru when the main utility fails. These systems have a battery bank attached, which will provide a set number of minutes of ride-thru time. The UPS monitors the batteries and keeps them at full charge. It reports on power and battery problems.

Standards Organizations:

ANSI: American National Standards Institute

TIA: Telecommunications Industry Association

BS/IEC/EN: British National Standard/International Electrical Commission/European Standards.

The University of Kansas Design and Construction Standards Division 27 for Telecommunication Systems: Campus construction standards

EIA: Electrical Industry Alliance

IEEE: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

ISO: International Organization for Standardization

data center, server room, server installation, server removal, physical plant, HVAC
Change History: 

10/16/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).

Information Access & Technology Categories: 
Information Technology
Privacy & Security

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