Frequently Asked Questions about the ITS Colocation Facility

Racks

Working in the Colocation Facility

Rack Access, Changes, and Waste Disposal

What are the type and size of racks that are available for lease in the facility?

All computer racks in the ITS colocation facility are provided by ITS. There are two types of racks you can lease from ITS:

  • The APC NetShelter SX 42U model AR3100, which can accommodate 42 rack-unit devices that are the industry standard and 19 inches wide.
  • The APC NetShelter SX 2x20U model AR3200, which has separate under-over compartments that can accommodate 20 rack-unit devices that are the industry standard and 19 inches wide.

The inside mounting rails of these two rack types are adjustable and fit devices from approximately 7.5 to 36 inches deep. Mounting cage nuts, bolts, and a cage-nut tool are provided. In addition, each rack is seismically braced and securely bolted in place.

For additional information on APC NetShelter SX 42U or SX 2x20U racks, including complete manufacturer’s specifications, please visit the APC website.

May I bring my own racks into the facility?
No. To maintain consistency in strength and appearance across all racks, you may not install your own computer racks in the ITS colocation facility. If you would like to use your own racks to move your equipment into the facility, please give ITS Colocation Services one week of advanced notice.

Once the move is complete, you must remove your rack from the facility. Non-ITS racks should not remain in the colocation facility for more than two days.

How is electrical power provided to the racks?

Each ITS rack is initially provided with a single conditioned power electrical circuit. By default, this circuit provides 110 volts, 20 amps. ITS also provides a metered rack power distribution unit (PDU) to supply power to customer equipment. Rack PDUs provide 8 standard 5-20R receptacles.

After reviewing the projected power requirements for equipment in a rack, ITS may make a recommendation that a 208-volt, 30-amp circuit be substituted for the 110-volt, 20-amp default circuit, if you have a full rack. For each 208-volt, 30-amp circuit in a full rack, ITS installs a metered rack PDU that provides power for 36 C13-type outlets and 6 C19-type outlets. Please note that two 30-amp circuits are the maximum allowed in a full rack and two 20-amp circuits are the maximum allowed in a half rack.

You must provide your own appropriate power cords for your equipment. For information on what types of power cords will work for your power configuration, see
http://www.stayonline.com/custom_power_cords.aspx.

May I install an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) unit in my rack?
The resiliency of the conditioned power infrastructure in the colocation facility makes additional installations of UPS units in your racks unnecessary. In fact, additional installations can adversely affect key power equipment in the facility. Customers must not install uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units or other power conditioning equipment into their colocation racks for this reason.

What happens if I overload an electrical circuit to my rack?
Each metered rack PDU is equipped with a digital display that indicates how many amps are being used by the equipment that is plugged into that PDU. You are responsible for ensuring that your rack’s power consumption does not overload an electrical circuit.

You should maintain your equipment load to within 2-3 amps below the maximum rating on the circuit. For example, on a 20-amp circuit, the load should not exceed 18 amps.

If a customer causes a circuit breaker to fail due to an overloaded circuit, the customer will need to address the overload issue before ITS resets the breaker. Breakers can only be reset during normal business hours.

Can I have dual-power supplied to my rack?
If you are installing equipment containing more than one power supply, you should consider having an additional electrical circuit installed in a rack to take advantage of your equipment’s redundant power capability.

For such configurations, ITS will make sure that the two electrical circuits in each rack receive power from different power distribution units. This will add another layer of reliability to the power supply in the event of a power loss in one of the two circuits.

How do I run cables between my racks if I have more than one rack?
If you are leasing multiple racks, you may need to run cables from one rack to another. You may run cables across the top of one rack to the adjacent rack, but you may not run them between non-adjacent racks.

If you need to run cables between non-adjacent racks, please send an email to ITS Colocation Services to arrange for inter-rack cabling services. This service includes both copper and fiber cabling.

How do the combination locks on the racks work?
Each rack comes equipped with a combination lock on both its front and rear doors. The combination is a 3-digit numeric sequence. If you lease more than one rack, you can opt to have the same combination for all of your racks or choose a different combination for each lock.

You may accept the randomly generated combination assigned to each rack by ITS or you may submit a request for a specific three-number combination through your department’s authorized signer, whose name appears in your ITS-maintained service level agreement (SLA).

The authorized signer is responsible for maintaining and distributing combinations. If customers forget their combination, they should contact their authorized signer. The authorized signer must authorize ITS to release a combination in writing (email requests are acceptable).

Authorized signers who misplace a combination may request that combination in writing (email requests are acceptable).

Note: All combination-related requests should be sent to . ITS responds to combination requests during business hours only.

Where should I park my car?
Free street-level public parking is often available on Grand Avenue. Use your discretion when parking after hours. Parking is also available on the second level of the USC Parking Center across the street from the ITS data center and colocation facility.

If you intend to park in the USC Parking Center, please note that the pay station located on the second level near the elevators accepts debit/credit cards along with 1 and 5 dollar bills. If you need to drop off bulky items, contact ITS to arrange for assistance.

Note: Holders of USC Cardinal and Gold parking permits may park in the USC Parking Center (3rd floor or higher) at any time.

May I bring food or drinks into the colocation facility?

No. Food and drinks are not allowed in the colocation facility. There is a break room available to colocation customers on the fourth floor that provides bottled water, coffee, and tea. There are also food venues on the first floor of the building during business hours.

May I lift the floor tiles to get under my rack?

No. Due to safety concerns, only authorized personnel are allowed to remove the room floor tiles. If you need access to the sub-floor space next to your rack, please contact a staff member from the Network Operations Center (NOC) or ITS Colocation Services.

Does ITS offer storage space for my parts and tools?
ITS offers both storage cabinets and storage lockers for lease in the colocation facility for customers to store spare parts, tools, and other supplies that they need to keep on site. If you currently lease at least one full rack in the colocation facility, you can request a storage cabinet or locker, depending on availability. The two storage options are:

Storage Locker
Lockers are the smaller of the two storage offerings and have the following dimensions: 13.5” wide, 35” high, 17.5” deep. Each storage locker is equipped with a durable, vault-like enclosure that includes a safe-like door with a spinner-style combination lock.

Storage Cabinet
Cabinets offer the largest storage capacity and have adjustable shelving. Each storage cabinet has the following dimensions:36” wide, 70” high, 23” deep. Each storage cabinet comes with double doors and is equipped with a 4-digit combination bolt lock.

How does USC Equipment Management handle the equipment I place in my rack?
Each time you purchase equipment in the amount of $5,000.00 or more, it is important for you to notify USC Equipment Management so your equipment can be added to the inventory and tagged for tracking purposes. Once your equipment has been installed, Equipment Management staff will coordinate with you to set up a tagging appointment.

Equipment Management staff members have access to equipment in the colocation facility at all times; they are not required to be on the access list or receive prior approval.

How do I authorize persons to open my rack?
Colocation Services maintains a record for each customer that is called the USC ITS Colocation Access List (SLA-Attachment B). This list includes the names and contact information for all individuals that you have authorized ITS to allow access to your colocation racks, storage lockers, and cabinets. This information is collected by ITS when the Service Level Agreement (SLA) is signed.

You are responsible for ensuring that the colocation access list (attachment B in your SLA) is kept up-to-date. Please notify us in writing (email is acceptable) as soon as you learn of a change in your technical support staff.

New staff members need to be added to the list at least one business day before their planned visit. For security reasons, access to your colocation rack and storage locker, or cabinet, will be granted only to individuals whose names appear on the USC ITS colocation access list.

How do I make changes to who can access my rack?
Individuals may be added to or removed from the USC ITS colocation access list (SLA-Attachment B) by email. Your authorized signer can send this request by email.

The request must include the name(s) to be removed or added and the contact information for persons being added along with any special instructions you may have regarding their rack access.

ITS Finance and Administration will then generate and distribute a new USC ITS Colocation Access List (SLA-Attachment B) to the appropriate departments. ITS Finance and Administration typically needs 1-2 business days to process these changes.

Please be sure to take processing time into consideration when making Access List change requests.

How do I lease additional racks?

ITS Colocation Services can help you lease additional racks. When you contact ITS Colocation Services, please be prepared to provide the following information:

  1. The number of racks being requested. ITS will assign adjacent rack spaces whenever possible.
  2. The start-of-service date for each rack. The start-of-service date will be the first day of the month when the lease becomes effective. You may start placing equipment into the rack or into service on the service date.
  3. Your lock combination preferences.
    1. Should the lock on each rack have the same combination or a unique combination?
  4. A description of each item that will be installed into each rack, including the electrical voltage and current/power requirements.
  5. The type and how many electrical circuits are required for each rack.
  6. The number of network lines that will be needed for each rack.
  7. Any changes to the existing ITS Colocation Access List (see SLA Attachment B).

If you add a rack, ITS Colocation Services will automatically extend your access list to include the new rack.

How do I add or remove equipment from my rack?
Anytime you add or remove equipment from your rack, an Equipment Add/Remove Form must be completed and submitted to a NOC staff member. This form is critical for security reasons.

Can I have new equipment shipped directly to the facility?

Yes. ITS recognizes the occasional need for you to ship equipment directly to the facility. For specific instructions, please contact its-colo@usc.edu.

How do I order additional network lines for my rack?

The colocation facility has its own process for ordering network lines. Please do not request additional network lines from ITS Telecommunications. To request additional network lines for your rack, send an email to ITS Colocation Services.

Please note that new lines will not be installed until payment for port installation has been received. Your new line(s) will be installed within approximately five business days from the time you receive the email confirmation that payment has been received.

In your email to its-colo@usc.edu, please include the following information:

  1. Rack ID (e.g., D32) where network cable are to be installed.
  2. Number of network lines needed.
  3. Any special VLAN requirements; if not stated, the default VLAN will be used.
  4. Any multiple MAC address requirements. This will require a signed MulMac SLA.
  5. MAC address/IP address of the equipment. Please indicate if this is for new equipment or existing equipment changing locations.
  6. Instructions for labeling network cables. Please indicate how you would like each cable to be labeled.

We will supply cat5e network cables for the network lines. You will be notified once the installation is complete.

How do I request additional electrical circuits for my rack?

To request additional electrical circuits, please contact ITS colocation support staff. We will work with you to identify and install the electrical circuits you need.

Can I add an analog phone line to my rack?

Yes. If you need a landline phone in your rack(s), please send an email to ITS Colocation Services. Please do not contact ITS Telecommunication Services for this request.

Can I connect a T1 network line to my rack?

Yes. Please contact ITS Colocation Services to submit a request.

Can I connect 10-gigabit network lines to my rack?

Yes, ITS now offers 10-gigabit network lines to colocation customer racks. Please contact ITS Colocation Services for more information.

Can ITS personnel provide remote hands support to my rack?

No. ITS does not offer this type of support for unmanaged colocation racks. ITS personnel do not have permission to access customer racks.

How should I dispose of waste materials I generate while working in the facility?

When you unpack your new equipment, please place all unwanted Styrofoam, plastic bags, straps, shipping tape, cardboard inserts, and papers back into the same boxes they were shipped in.

If these boxes become full, close them up and stack them on the provided carts. These carts can typically be found along the colocation facility wall, next to the door that separates the NOC from the colocation facility.

Please keep the pathway and double-door emergency exits clear at all times. When you are ready to have waste materials removed, please contact the NOC for assistance.

How should I dispose of electronic waste that I remove from my rack?

ITS has arranged for an ongoing electronic waste collection process within the facility. If you have electronic waste that needs to be removed, notify the NOC or ITS Colocation Services for assistance.

Please note that you are responsible for providing proper notification to USC Equipment Management regarding the disposal of any inventory-tagged equipment.

May I take photographs or videos within the facility?

Taking photographs and filming inside the data center and colocation facility requires prior written approval. To request permission, send an email to ITS Colocation Services.