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New OHSU Data Center Opens, Will Help Pioneer 'Big Data' Medical Research

August 14, 2014

OHSU's new data center — a geodesic-dome-shaped building on OHSU's West Campus — began operating in July. The data center will serve OHSU's advanced computing needs for decades to come and will allow OHSU scientists and clinicians to enter full force into a pioneering era of using "big data" to understand and combat disease.

The $22 million data center, called Data Center West, has the cutting edge technology and huge computing power needed for OHSU scientists to gather and analyze enormous amounts of biomedical data and to help them better understand and cure disease.

At full capacity, Data Center West will be able to provide 3.8 megawatts of computing power. (The average residential house consumes about 1.3 kilowatts.)

And, because of the data center's unusual design, it will boast all of that computing power with remarkable power efficiency — achieving an efficiency rating that's 34 percent better than all self-reporting U.S. data centers for 2014.

The data center's unique design — created and developed by Perry Gliessman with OHSU's Information Technology Group — allows it to predominantly use ambient air for cooling, instead of massive air conditioning systems that most data centers use. That and other energy efficiencies will make the data center one of the most efficient data centers in the country.