The State of Minnesota has launched an ambitious data center consolidation initiative which could see it reduce the number of data centers from more than 36 to four or less in five years.

The consolidation plan was announced in conjunction with the issuing of a request for proposals (RFP) to industry participants to build and operate a secure, industry-standard, data center service.

“This important business decision for the State represents a cost-effective way to lower our risks while minimizing investment and move costs,” State Chief Information Officer Gopal Khanna said in a statement. “Doing it together provides the economies of scale and efficiencies no agency can realize on its own.”

An independent study of the State’s data centers in 2008, found that none met industry standards and the risk of failure or loss for many of the facilities was rated as high.

The new proposed co-location facility, which the State hopes to have operational in two years, will house many of its most critical systems. Over a five year period the State hopes to reduce the total number of data centers to between two-to-four.

State officials believe the initiative will lead to greater efficiency, reduced risk, lower cost of maintenance, and greater agility and performance.

“The benefits of this plan are compelling from a financial perspective,” Minnesota Commissioner Tom Hanson said. “In these economic times, it’s hard to argue with the business case for sharing space to cut costs.”



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