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CNM, private firm to market college’s data center

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CNM Executive Director of Agile Services Bill Halverson at CNM\’s data center in Albuquerque. Courtesy CNM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Central New Mexico Community College is opening up its state-of-the-art data center to educational institutions around the state through a new joint venture with the Albuquerque company Harmonix Technologies Inc.

The nonprofit organization CNM Ingenuity, which manages commercial activities for the college, announced the new public-private partnership on Monday.¬† The partners will offer comprehensive network management services to schools across New Mexico through CNM’s existing 3,000 square-foot data center on its main campus in Albuquerque. Services could include building and hosting cloud-based systems for schools, co-locating a school’s servers at CNM’s center if needed, and training opportunities for students and IT workers.

The new venture means grade schools and higher education institutions can immediately plug into existing, modern IT infrastructure without footing the capital costs for building new systems, said CNM Chief Information Officer Feng Hou.

“It’s exciting, because we’re leveraging our technical capabilities to allow other schools to enjoy the same modern information technology that we have,” Hou said. “CNM’s data center is state of the art. It’s one of the best in New Mexico.”

CNM partnered with Harmonix because it is a successful, homegrown New Mexico company with a stellar reputation for quality IT services, said CNM Ingenuity Executive Director  Kyle Lee. The company, which launched in 2005, has a significant track record of working with schools and other public institutions in New Mexico and elsewhere.

Its headquarters are in Albuquerque with a regional office in Dulce in northern New Mexico. It employs 30 people around the state, earning $6.5 million in revenue in 2016.

“Harmonix is a cutting-edge IT company that can help us create cost-effective opportunities for the educational community statewide,” Lee said. “As a private company, they can also help us keep up with the constant changes and evolution in the information technology market.”

The partnership can save money for New Mexico’s cash-strapped schools, said Harmonix CEO Jack Vigil.

“We’ll help them design network infrastructure without the huge capital expenditures normally required up front,” Vigil said. “We’ll work with manufacturers to incorporate best-of-breed products for virtual networks.”

Institutions that have their own data centers and networks could also co-locate some servers at CNM.

“We can provide rack space to maintain and support servers for any school that needs it,” Hou said.

The partners will also jointly design an IT workforce training curriculum, allowing public entities to contract with CNM and Harmonix to send their employees through training before returning to their own institutions. Credit and non-credit training will also be made available for the general public.

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