Data Center Consolidation at the State of Oregon
December 13, 2007
Representative Chuck Riley is Chair of the Government Accountability and Information Technology in the Oregon House of Representatives. As such, he had oversight authority for the Computing and Networking Infrastructure Consolidation (CNIC) project that has now become the Oregon State Data Center. Rep. Riley spoke to News@Cisco about the goals and benefits of the project from the user side.
What are the goals and objectives the Legislature has for the Data Center?
Representative Riley: The overarching goal was to combine disparate data processing applications and operations to save taxpayer money. Now we're looking to further improve operational efficiencies and streamline IT projects. I'm excited about how this consolidation will help citizens do business with the state.
Could you give an example of how that might work?
Representative Riley: Sure. Think about a small business, which may have to work with multiple state agencies to obtain legally-mandated licenses and permissions. This is especially hard for mom-and-pop operations, the kind of small entrepreneurs we want to encourage. The data center consolidation will make it possible to create an on-line "one-stop-shopping" that puts all the forms they need at their fingertips. We've started a promising pilot project along these lines in the Real Estate field.
What were some of the challenges the State faced prior to the consolidation?
Representative Riley: The biggest issue was non-standard applications that wouldn't talk to each other, as well as the existence of many small, closed IT systems that made agency operations difficult. This made IT functions a lot more expensive than they needed to be.
What benefits is the State realizing and what do you expect to see in the future?
Representative Riley: We're seeing major benefits. First, cost containment, which is critical when you're dealing with other people's money-the taxpayers! Second, security, which is becoming more and more important, especially as it relates to citizen privacy. And third, operation efficiencies. This project not only saves money, but makes more forward-looking projects possible.
How does the public benefit from data center consolidation?
Representative Riley: They're getting more for their tax dollars, and better IT is making it easier for the public to get information from and conduct business with the state.
Can you speak a little bit about the "green" initiatives that the State is looking into and how this data center consolidation contributes to that?
Representative Riley: The CNIC project illustrates very well the State's commitment to being a leader in green initiatives. We expect to realize a better than 30% power use from our IT operations when this project is complete. We haven't yet calculated the impact on the State's carbon emissions, but it will be significant.
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