Next Up for Consolidation: New York City

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First California. Then the federal government. Now New York City has announced plans for a data center consolidation to cut costs and eliminate redundancies in its IT infrastructure. 

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the consolidation will save the city up to $100 million over five years. The city currently has more than 50 data centers, many of which are located in prime commercial real estate space in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The vast majority of these facilities, and the technologies within them, are obsolete, Bloomberg said.

“Today, city agencies are embracing new technology, constantly adding hardware and software to improve services and make information more readily available to the public,” said Bloomberg. “Instead of building these systems on the often outdated and varied IT systems that exist at individual agencies, we will consolidate them in state-of-the-art data centers that can both support the growing needs of forward-thinking agencies while saving the city tens of million of dollars.”

The plan emerged from a 30-day review of the city’s IT operations by Carole Post, the incoming commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT). The first step in the Citywide IT Infrastructure Services program (CITIServ) is the design os a standardized infrastructure environment “comparable in scope and features to those of leading industry IT providers.” The recommendations outline four main goals:

  • Lower total cost of operations: By leveraging economies of scale the city can reduce energy and facilities costs. It is estimated that after completion of most data center consolidation efforts, the city could achieve $100 million in cost savings over five years.
  • Reduced energy consumption:Implementing CITIServ will do as much to reduce CO2 emissions as will planting 1,000,000 trees, helping achieve the goal of reducing the city’s carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2017.
  • Strengthened security: CITIServ will allow the City to continue strengthening the physical security and cyber security of its data, while also improving its ability to respond to emergencies.
  • Improved services for agencies: Enhanced 24×7 capabilities and improved reliability and performance of consolidated data centers will allow agencies to devote greater focus to their core business missions.

And yes, cloud compouting is a component of the plan. “Cloud computing is being explored as part of a high level approach to the Data Center Consolidation, so that the city can have more flexible management of its computing environment and meet the data center needs of tomorrw,” the DoITT says in its report.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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