Data Center Case Study - School of Visual Arts


School of Visual Arts


School of Visual Arts (SVA) is widely recognized as one of the finest colleges of art and design in the United States for its innovative programs, unparalleled faculty and active participation in the cultural life of New York City. Established in 1947, SVA serves more than 3,500 undergraduate and 500 graduate students; employs a faculty of approximately 1,100 artists, writers, designers, filmmakers and photographers and 600 administrative staff members; and provides continuing education to 2,400 New Yorkers each semester.

The Situation

Located in the heart of Manhattan, the SVA campus footprint extends from West Chelsea to Gramercy to the Lower East Side and is comprised of 17 buildings, including five residence halls. When chief information officer Cosmin Tomescu joined SVA’s staff in 2009, the college was growing rapidly and its IT infrastructure of 50 physical servers along with it. Within a year, Tomescu and his team were deep into assessing the school’s long-term data center needs to provide a strong foundation for a dynamic future. He and his design team began a journey to build a flexible, efficient infrastructure that today rivals an enterprise-size environment with three to four times the staff.

The high cost and limited availability of dedicated floor space in Manhattan necessitated that SVA deploy a high-density, scalable infrastructure capable of accommodating long-term IT capacity growth within a finite data center footprint of 20 ft. by 20 ft.


  • An enterprise-class data center with enough capacity to grow for at least 15 years without requiring additional floor space
  • All mission-critical applications running in a fully redundant environment, from the server and storage, to the OS, network, routing and switching
  • Calculated electricity savings of 302,944 kWh/yr from the combined energy efficiency measures of server virtualization and cooling system and lighting upgrades
“We decided on Emerson Network Power for our vendor because of their reputation, reliability, market share and the company’s history.”
- Cosmin Tomescu, chief information officer, School of Visual Arts
Case Summary
Location: New York, New York, USA
Products and Services: Row-based infrastructure design aligned with the SmartAisle™ approach, which optimizes infrastructure deployment through an intelligent row-based system, integrating data center racks, power, cooling, monitoring and control technologies from Emerson Network Power.
SVA's SmartAisle infrastructure includes:

Alber® BDSi™ Battery Monitoring System integrated into the Liebert NX battery cabinets
Liebert CRV™ Row-based Precision Cooling with Liebert iCOM® Control and Temperature Sensors
DCM™ Enclosures
Liebert MB™ Modular Busway
Liebert SiteScan® Monitoring Software
Critical Needs Holistic, energy efficient solution to modernize and standardize the data center infrastructure, with all components integrated into a single monitoring platform and contained within a compact footprint.

Read more about the School of Visual Arts case study.​