NASCIO Award (2010)

2010 NASCIO Award Recipient
State of Illinois Data Center Server Consolidation and Virtualization Project
Category: Improving State Operations
OVERVIEW: This category covers technology initiatives and business process improvements implemented to make government operations more efficient and effective. Because States Run on IT as described in NASCIO's 2009 document, nominations in this category should emphasize how IT has played a critical role in transforming government operations.
In 2003, the State of Illinois faced a $5 billion budget deficit and searched for opportunities to reduce costs. Legislation was written and passed by the General Assembly with a goal of creating efficiency and reducing costs through the use of shared services.
The Bureau of Communication and Computer Services (BCCS) within the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) conducted an analysis to determine several potential areas of cost savings and efficiencies.  The state discovered that duplicate efforts throughout the agencies could be eliminated and savings realized by sharing and consolidating IT services. Data center operation and server management were identified as areas for significant potential savings.
The goal of the data center consolidation was to physically consolidate servers into two primary data centers: Springfield and Chicago. Begun in 2006, the project resulted in the decommissioning of 22 substandard data center/computer rooms and a reduction of 22,800 square feet of data center floor space. The move resulted in a significant cost reduction, improved service and availability, and significantly better operational efficiencies.
Server virtualization began in January 2008 after the initial physical consolidations were completed in the primary data center in Springfield. Most of the servers were more than 10 years old and in desperate need of upgrading/refreshing. There was also a need to better utilize power, cooling, and floor space. A decision was made to install redundant/clustered virtualized server systems utilizing blade server technology, SAN attached storage and water-cooled racks. The consolidation was designed to be fault-tolerant and scalable with the capability of full, off-site disaster recovery.  The project resulted in the virtualization of 854 aging physical servers and the installation of 190 new virtual servers for a total of 1,044 virtual servers managed today.
The project also resulted in more efficient operations at a reduced cost. Server uptime has increased and server/storage provisioning times have decreased. Completion of the project has resulted in an ROI totaling more than $10,798,000 between July 2006 and May 2010.