Guidelines for purchasing non standard IT equipment
These guidelines are intended to encourage procurement of devices which are both fit for research needs/use and fit for the future physical MSE environment.
Quotes and purchases should be requested here:
MSE IT Research and New Services Request Form
With MSE 2025 well underway, any non-standard or high-power computer purchase must be informed by these factors:
- New MSE Buildings will have very finely balanced power and environmental standards that will preclude workstation computers in many areas
- Staff and Students will be allocated a laptop for their day to day computing needs
- Many existing MSE work spaces will be demolished or renovated, with new environments likely to be more open and flexible, so existing spaces that are suitable for workstations may be lost
- MSE is encouraging utilization of MSE and University wide compute clusters and computing resources rather than individual devices.
Preferred MSE High Power Compute Device
With these guidelines in mind, all requests to quote for a high-power compute device will receive a quote based on a rack mounted device or equivalent server.
All high-power computing devices will need to be fit for use within an appropriate racked environment, such as the MSE Data Centre or the Run-up Room on level 5 of the EEE building. The only specification change required would be to include out-of-band management*. They will need to be accessed remotely over the network
The MSE Data Centre is a managed environment with an uninterruptable, smoothed power supply, temperature and humidity controlled and controlled secure access. The Run-up Room is an unmanaged space with air conditioning and Staff/RHD Student swipe card access.
MSE IT Services will provide installation, commissioning, ongoing support and training throughout the lifespan of the device. We can also provide device management, ranging from just installing the physical hardware into the Data Centre through to full device management. Full device management can include OS/Software installation, configuration, critical patch management, securing the device in terms of security hardening and access security. The requestor can opt to self-manage all aspects of the device if so desired.
Procedure – Preferred Model
All requests for a rack mountable high-power compute device can proceed subject to normal supervisor and financial approval.
Procedure – Non-Preferred Models
Anyone requesting a workstation or server in a tower or desktop form factor for use in an office or lab must provide a written business case justifying the purchase. The case must address the:
- proposed location and environment for the machine
- likely location and environment the machine will occupy in future years until end of life
- number of users
- use case for the computer, including examples supporting the proposed form factor
MSE IT Services along with a representative of the MSE Facilities and OHS team will review the business case for tower or desktop form factor workstations. They may ask for clarification or make suggestions which address the business case.
In the event of disagreement over the device form factor, the request can be referred to a small panel for academic review and final decision
* Out-of-band management is sometimes called lights-out management (or LOM) and involves the use of a dedicated network management channel for device maintenance. It allows a system administrator to monitor and manage servers and other network-attached equipment by remote control regardless of whether the machine is powered on, or if an operating system is installed or functional.