Wednesday, August 05, 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?

For acclaimed UTSA writer, poetry rhymes with life

Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.

Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.

Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.

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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. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 6, 5 - 7 p.m.; 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

6th Annual Texas Higher Education Symposium

This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
Downtown Campus

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. 17, 11:30 p.m.

Midnight Light

Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus

Aug. 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Plaza

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus

Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Lawn

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus

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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