Wednesday, July 29, 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."

 

 

Did You Know?

Sometimes you have to see the little picture

UTSA researchers are exploring matter at the atomic level with Helenita. It's one of the most powerful microscopes in the world, with the ability to operate near the theoretical limit of resolution. At 9 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing more than two tons, Helenita can dissect almost anything. With Helenita's resolution, researchers can study particles atom by atom to see how they behave.

That's critical in developing nanotechnology that will help diagnosis early-stage breast cancer or make helmets that are uber strong. Moreover, the detail that Helenita provides will allow nanotechnology researchers to create new therapies and treatments to fight a wide range of human diseases.

Did you know? Helenita can magnify a sample 20 million times its size, which would make a strand of human hair the size of San Antonio.

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Events
July 30, 5 - 7 p.m.

Networking and happy hour with AIA San Antonio's Women in Architecture

Join AIA San Antonio’s Women in Architecture group for their networking and happy hour event, where all design professionals are welcome.
Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St.

Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle

Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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