NYC opens consolidated data center

New facility will host operations for up to 40 city agencies

New York City has opened a new consolidated data center that will combine information from more than 40 government agencies and is expected to save the city $100 million over the next five years.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) Commissioner Carole Post opened the 18,000 square-foot facility in downtown Brooklyn this week. New York will initially consolidate data from 19 agencies over the next year and move up to 40 within the next five years. The move is part of the city’s "NYC Simplicity" initiative to make the government more efficient, innovative and customer-focused.

The consolidation will enable agencies to “to concentrate more of their resources on what they really do best: teaching students, protecting our neighborhoods, cleaning our streets, preventing and putting out fires, and doing all the other things that improve our quality of life," Bloomberg said during the press conference.

Previously, the city operated dozens of unique data centers, without basic capabilities such as 24/7 support, fire suppression, emergency recovery, and security planning. The new center, created through the Citywide IT Infrastructure Services (CITIServ) Program, will enable New York to expand existing shared services, reduce costs, and provide modern, reliable, redundant, secure and green technology services.

Related coverage:

New York City getting data centers under one roof

The initial cost of the data center is $11.7 million, including hardware, software, equipment and facilities build-out with annual leasing costs of $11.7 million.

"The value of having this data center now available is that it provides the capacity and services to ensure seamless transitions for those agencies, particularly those with systems nearing end of life or seeking to expand to meet space, storage or power needs," Post said. "Those investments can now be combined, reduced or eliminated because of this new facility."

Currently the data center hosts the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment' IT operations, the Department of Sanitation's IT Service Desk, and the Department of Education's "HR Connect" application. These systems support 140,000 users and their consolidation will save the city approximately $200,000 annually.

“In addition, ongoing consolidation work at the Department of Finance and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services will realize several million dollars in incremental gains due to certain targeted migrations and investment deferrals,” the press release on the announcement states.

New York announced the CITIServ initiative last March and is working with IBM to migrate agency data to the new consolidated data center, GCN reported last month.

The first phase of the consolidation calls for 14 agencies’ data to be migrated by the end of 2011. The city has more than 50 agency data centers.

In addition to a new data center, the CITIServ initiative includes development of a collaborative, unified citywide IT strategy. Agencies will share operating systems, servers, development and collaboration tools, reducing hardware and associated IT personnel costs. CITIServ includes such items as application-hosting services, including virtual hosting; network services; data and storage and a single point of contact for IT issues.


About the Author

Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.


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