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NYC Opens Consolidated Data Center

The $11.7 million, 18,000 square-foot facility will bring 50 data centers from 40 city agencies into one location, saving an estimated $100 million, says New York Mayor Bloomberg.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg this week unveiled the city's new data center in downtown Brooklyn, an 18,000 square-foot facility that will enable the city to consolidate about 50 data centers from 40 city agencies into one location.

The city will pay $11.7 million for the initial hardware, software, equipment, and general buildout of the facility, while annual leasing costs for the space -- located in the MetroTech Center in Brooklyn -- are $2.7 million, according to the mayor's office. Bloomberg and other city officials held a press conference Monday to show off the new facility.

Last March Bloomberg introduced New York's plan to consolidate its data centers under the Citywide IT Infrastructure Services (CITIServ) Program, which itself is part of a larger effort the city is calling NYC Simplicity that's aimed at making city government more efficient, innovative, and customer-service oriented.

CITIServ was inspired by the so-called 30-Day Report, a review of the city's 1,200-person IT department that Mayor Bloomberg appointed Department of IT and Telecommunications (DoITT) commissioner Carole Post to conduct upon her appointment in January 2010.

New York plans to consolidate its data centers into the new facility by 2014, an effort it expects will save $100 million. IBM is working with the city on the first phase of the plan, which is to develop a modern cloud computing environment for the first 14 city agencies to be consolidated and moved onto the CITIServ system. IBM is being paid more than $7 million for the first leg of the project.

So far, the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment's IT operations, the Department of Sanitation's IT service desk, and the Department of Education's HR Connect application have been moved onto CITIServ, Bloomberg's office said this week. Together, the systems support 140,000 users and the city expects to save $200,000 annually on a recurring basis from the transition.

The IT environments of the city's Department of Finance and Department of Citywide Administrative Services also are in the process of consolidation. Once completed, this work will net several million dollars in incremental gains, according to the mayor's office.

New York City's reputation for being a trendsetter in general has extended into its adoption of more modern and open technology practices. Data center consolidation is just one part of a broad technology-driven strategy enacted by Bloomberg to improve not only New York's IT operations but also how the city serves its employees, residents, and constituents.

Crowdsourcing is another technology the city is employing to help improve how it serves its residents. As part of Bloomberg's State of the City address in January, the mayor also unveiled two new crowdsourcing efforts to solicit ideas from city workers and residents about how to improve the day-to-day life and business of the Big Apple.

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