New York Plans to Consolidate Data Centers

New York lieutenant governor Robert Duffy helps introduce the state’s data center consolidation plan.

The state of New York will consolidate up to 50 data centers in a new facility at SUNY’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, announced governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

It’s all part of a plan to amalgamate the state’s IT infrastructure, a plan that New York estimates will save up to $100 million annually, or more than $1 billion over two decades. The data center alone will achieve $50 million in annual savings, if New York’s estimates prove correct; the contract between the state and the University lasts for 20 years.

The SUNY effort represents a partnership between the university, the New York State Office of General Services (OGS), and the New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS), which was formed to fold the state’s significant IT resources into a single agency. ITS spearheaded the consolidation effort, which began in 2011. The new data center will total 50,000 square feet of space and carry a “Tier III” designation, defined as a data centers that can achieve 99.98 percent uptime, aided by redundant power supplies (utility plus generator).

“With this new data center and partnership with CNSE, New York State is ushering in a new era of IT security and efficiency, as well as maximizing economic development and innovation opportunities,” Governor Cuomo wrote in a statement. “No area of state government was more siloed than IT, but with this consolidation, we are eliminating inefficiencies and duplication with one of the most advanced and cost-effective data centers in the world.”

Prompted by constant budget pressure and the ability to virtualize infrastructure, the consolidation of dispersed data centers has become a government priority, saving millions in the process. In 2010, U.S. chief information officer Vivek Kundar ordered a project to consolidate federal data centers, and updates on the Federal Data Center Consolidation initiative are periodically published to data.gov. The government has since expanded the definition of data center to include “data closets” of less than 500 feet, with the commitment to consolidating more than 1,200 data centers by the end of 2015.

New York state officials also claimed that the work would result in 500 to 1,000 new jobs, as well as the ability to “accelerate IT business opportunities for CNSE’s corporate partners,” which most likely include semiconductor and semiconductor equipment manufacturers; the center houses what SUNY claims is the most advanced 200-mm/300-mm wafer facilities in the academic world.

A consolidation plan is an important first step; now New York’s IT team will have to ensure those services are actually consolidated without any downtime, like New Jersey experienced earlier this year.

 

Image: SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering

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