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University Data Center Facilities

The Northwestern University Data Center facilities are a vital part of the campus information technology (IT) infrastructure. Northwestern Information Technology (IT) executes data center management standards and best practices. These facilities provide a secure, enterprise-wide, reliable, and redundant infrastructure for the delivery of mission-critical University systems.

In managing the IT enterprise and maintaining the infrastructure, Northwestern IT ensures that high-quality information technology services are available to all administrative, academic, research, and high performance computing system, along with important parts of the Science, Technology, and Research Transit Access Point (StarLight), an interconnection facility for global research networks. Additionally, Cloud Computing Services are offered for University schools, departments, and business units who wish to self-manage their virtual data center resources within a fee-based private cloud model.

The Data Center facility benefits:

Efficient Energy Management

The University maximizes the use of efficient energy solutions at the Data Centers while minimizing the impact on the environment.

Enterprise Level Systems

The facilities provide an efficient, secure, and comprehensive administrative data processing environment for core systems supporting the business of the University, allowing anytime/anywhere access to information across a variety of devices and platforms.

 A representation of these centrally-managed business enterprise systems includes:

HIPAA Readiness

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) creates a framework by which to protect the privacy and security of individually identifiable health information. Northwestern University supports the goals of HIPAA and documents its commitment to comply with these laws in its "Northwestern HIPAA Research" policy.  

Northwestern IT has instituted policies, procedures, and installed security enhancements to satisfy HIPAA compliance requirements for hosting information and processing within University data centers. These measures contain several enhancement to security including installing security cameras, computer room entry controls, and implementing visible badging of data center employees and visitors. While additional protocols are being adopted to further prepare NU to respond to formal HIPAA compliance audits, the Office of the General Counsel and Audit and Advisory Services have approved Northwestern IT to begin hosting information in University data centers which fall under HIPAA rules.  

The readiness of the University data centers to protect personal health information (PHI) and personal identifiable information (PII) will assist principal investigators to comply in the collection, handling and protection of governed information; however, researchers are responsible to establish and monitor compliant laboratory and office protocols that protect the data in those environments. Researchers with data protection requirements of this nature should consult with Northwestern IT on possible solutions to their needs by contacting Joe Paris, Director of Research Computing Services.

System Status

Important system status alerts and late breaking news that affect University IT network and services are available at Status of University IT Services.

Last Updated: 14 August 2018

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