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3/2/2010
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NYC Orders Data Center Consolidation

New York City IT chief Carole Post will oversee the consolidation of 50 data centers into one shared system, a move aimed at saving $100 million over five years.

New York City's new Department of IT and Telecommunications (DoITT) commissioner is planning a major data center consolidation after less than a two months at her post.

After a review of the city's IT system, IT Commissioner Carole Post will oversee a plan to modernize and consolidate data infrastructure at more than 40 city agencies.

The goal of the consolidation " which will start later this year and consolidate 50 unique data centers into one shared system -- is to lower the city's cost of operations by up to $100 million over five years, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office.

Other goals for the consolidation include reducing energy consumption and emissions, strengthening security, and improving the overall IT service quality.

The plan comes out of a so-called 30-Day Report, a massive review of the city's 1,200-person IT department that Mayor Bloomberg appointed Post to conduct upon her appointment in January. Post is former director of agency services in the Mayor's Office of Operations. The DoITT has an annual budget of about $375 million.

Mayor Bloomberg unveiled the data consolidation plan Wednesday at the Department of Finance office in New York's Brooklyn borough, which will be one of the first facilities affected by the plan.

As is the situation in many U.S. cities, the current IT infrastructure of New York City is fragmented, with more than 50 unique data centers serving nearly 48 city agencies, many located in prime commercial real estate space.

Many of the facilities and their technologies are obsolete, and having to staff, manage, and maintain them is a drain on city resources.

The DoITT will enact what it's calling the Citywide IT Infrastructure Services program, or CITIServ, as the first step to implementing the consolidation plan.

As part of CITIServ, the DoITT will build a secure and recoverable standardized IT infrastructure that the agencies will share to replace the disparate systems, according to the mayor's office.

The first services to be affected under CITIServ will be the city's help desk, hosting, storage, email, virtualization and network in the following city departments: Education, Buildings, Housing Preservation and Development, Sanitation, and Finance.

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