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California Plans Major Data Center Consolidation

Executive order calls for 30% reduction in energy usage by 2012 as part of a broad data-center consolidation plan and push for increased transparency and improved governance.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has issued an executive order calling for a drastic reduction in the state's data center footprint and energy consumption and requiring all state agencies to appoint CIOs and information security officers.

The state aims to reduce its data center space by 50% by July 2011 and to cut energy usage from IT operations 30% by July 2012.

The executive order also aims to standardize IT governance and increase transparency on spending in order to better manage the state's more than $3 billion IT budget. The order defines specific timelines and targets for IT consolidation and creating shared services out of ones that are now dispersed across agencies.

Among systems to be consolidated under the order are networks, e-mail, and anti-spam and encryption services. The state plans to standardize PCs and security services across the agencies and departments.

In 2007, Schwarzenegger established the Office of the State CIO as a cabinet-level agency with authority over statewide IT policy, then appointed Teri Takai to serve as state CIO. A year ago, Schwarzenegger consolidated statewide IT functions under the office of the CIO with a goal of $1.5 billion in cost savings and avoidance.

According to media reports, Takai is being considered for the CIO position at the Department of Defense. In an e-mail last week to InformationWeek, Takai called those reports a rumor. "I have lot to do in California and am working hard at it," she wrote.

Schwarzenegger's order requires that state agencies, departments, and offices assign CIOs and information security officers. Agency CIOs must develop plans to reduce the amount of energy used by IT and telecommunications equipment 10% by July of this year, by 20% by July 2011, and 30% by July 2012.

The order mandates that agencies reduce the amount of data-center square footage by 25% by July 2010 and 50% next year. To do this, the state plans to transition all mission-critical and public-facing applications to a new Tier III data center by no later than September 2010. All new mission critical and public-facing applications and major server refreshes are to be hosted in that data center.

The state plans to close all server rooms housing non-network equipment by June 2013. The order calls for a massive network migration of all existing network services to a unified California Government Network by July of this year.

Beginning in April, agencies must submit quarterly reports to the state CIO on their progress in reaching these goals. The office of the CIO is mandated to share results of that progress with the public on its Web site.

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