The University of Minnesota’s data centers manage and store everything from grades and financial data to the websites’ servers, Minnesota Daily reports. Data centers use more than 2 percent of the electricity in the U.S., according to a 2011 study from Stanford University. In 2010, the Office of Information Technology had plans to purchase portable data centers to increase energy efficiency, which would have cost up to $7 million. But instead, the office canceled the project altogether and consolidated the University’s then-several data centers into one main location and a backup. Patton Fast, OIT chief technology officer and enterprise architect, said President Eric Kaler had asked the office to “recalibrate the risk” associated with expanding the University’s data centers, and the office found that canceling the project was more cost-effective.
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