Friday, November 27, 2015


UTSA program prepares students to work at NSA and other data centers

Data Center

Servers in the test lab at Rackspace Hosting headquarters in San Antonio (Photo courtesy of Texas Tribune)

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(July 25, 2013) -- In the last decade, Texas has been a popular location for companies to dedicate large buildings to house major computer systems known as data centers. In particular, San Antonio has grown as a destination for data centers over the last five years because of favorable weather conditions and the low cost of power.

In response to the growing need for highly trained data center employees, The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) now offers a minor in network and data center management through its College of Business.

Microsoft, Rackspace, Lowe's, USAA, Christus Health, University Health System, Frost Bank, Capital Group, Valero, Chevron, Tesoro, NuStar Energy, Zachry Corp. and CyrusOne are just a few of the many companies that host stand-alone data centers in San Antonio.

"Running a data center takes more than knowledge of computers," said Glenn Dietrich, UTSA professor and interim chair of the Department of Information Systems and Cyber Security. "Without experts in electricity and power management, heating, cooling, facilities management and construction, cyber security, disaster recovery and other skills, companies can't adequately maintain and protect their data."

In 2010, the National Security Agency (NSA) approached UTSA to help build an academic program that would prepare students to have the exact skill sets to work at any of the NSA data centers across the country including the one in Northwest San Antonio. The curriculum was put in place and first offered as a minor in fall 2012.

The network and data center management minor is structured to provide the educational basis for being successful as a data center manager or network administrator. The curriculum is divided into four major knowledge areas: networks and networking protocols, facilities such as electrical power and air-conditioning, network security and operations. Topics covered include cloud computing, physical and cyber security, access control, project management and disaster planning.

The NSA has a similar relationship with the University of Utah, LA Tech and Texas A&M-College Station. UTSA was one of the first universities that NSA approached, and is one of the pioneers in offering the data center management degree program as a minor.

"We sought a partnership with UTSA because of the school's desire and ongoing efforts to build stellar, high-quality programs in this field," said Harvey Davis, director of installations and logistics at NSA. "From an intern-recruiting perspective, we look to these schools as a potential pipeline for resources."

In 2009, the NSA designated UTSA a "Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research" based on the research of business, computer science and engineering faculty. This designation has been awarded to only 47 institutions nationwide. UTSA also has been designated a "Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education" since 2002, based on the curriculum in the College of Business.

Nationally ranked and recognized, the UTSA College of Business is accredited by AACSB International and enrolls 5,700 students. The college is dedicated to raising its academic profile to become one of the best business schools recognized for developing "Knowledge for a New World."



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA's Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

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