Oregon consolidates data centers

Oregon has successfully completed a multiyear network consolidation of 11 separate agency data centers into one facility in an effort to improve service, productivity and energy consumption, state officials said.

The new State Data Center, located in Salem, Ore., provides a shared information technology infrastructure that serves thousands of state and local government programs, businesses and millions of citizens.

State IT managers worked with Cisco Systems and other leading vendors to consolidate networks and systems, said Mark Reyer, the state's data center administrator. Before the consolidation, the state government's IT culture lacked standardized architectures.

'We had a very expensive hodgepodge of isolated systems, redundant functions and architecture customized to serve hundreds of different applications,' Reyer said. The state now has an integrated and consolidated IT culture that makes better use of its resources, he said.

State managers expect the consolidation efforts to reduce power consumption by 30 percent, with an additional 25 percent reduction when server consolidation is completed.

The first data centers to be converted under the program belonged to 11 state agencies, including Administrative Services, Consumer and Business Services, Corrections, Employment, Forestry, Housing and Community Services, Human Services, Oregon State Police, Revenue, Transportation and Veterans' Affairs.

The data center consolidation initiative is part of the state's six-year plan to remodel IT services and follows the federal government's 1993 consolidation standards, which have been embraced by several states, Oregon officials said.

Next steps include transitioning agency IT functions over the next two years and rolling out collaborative communications and security enhancements like voice over IP and end-to-end encryption.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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