State of Colorado (Office of Information Technology)
Announced Project: Launching an Enterprise Cloud
In 2008, Colorado’s Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) began to consolidate the IT systems from 17 Executive Branch agencies. Prior to consolidation, the State was responsible for 40 data centers consisting of 1,800 servers, of which 122 alone powered different versions of Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange, and Novell GroupWise for e-mail. The goal of consolidation was to achieve cost savings through standardization while reducing the complexity of administering multiple platforms, and improving service delivery. OIT also envisioned gaining the ability to share resources with local jurisdictions and schools across the State.
Colorado decided to implement a hybrid cloud solution to meet the diverse needs of its 17 state agencies. Each agency has its own applications which required different levels of security, so the State’s plan includes three elements: a private cloud for line-of-business/highly secure data and systems, a virtual private cloud for archival storage/disaster recovery, and a public cloud for e-mail office productivity applications and websites.
For Colorado’s private cloud, the State will use an existing data center and begin to leverage server virtualization. All production data will remain on-site while virtualized instances of the production server can be stored off-site, increasing disaster recovery capabilities at reduced cost. Colorado’s virtual private cloud allows for additional scalability on a pay-as-you-go model for large systems. Colorado has recently started transitioning systems to the virtual private cloud.
Colorado’s usage of the public cloud will initially be a pilot of Google Apps for e-mail and office productivity. Using cloud-based e-mail provides Colorado with increased mobility, disaster recovery, storage, better document sharing, and collaboration. The pilot will test the migration of e-mail from three different agencies, focusing on security and workflow processing. If the pilot is successful and the cost-benefit analysis proves positive, the State plans to transition all 27,600 Executive Branch employees to the new system.
By shifting e-mail to the cloud, Colorado will be able to take all 122 existing e-mail servers out of production and experience significant operational cost savings. An initial cost-benefit analysis of the migration to cloud-based e-mail estimates annual savings of $8 million. In addition, Colorado will avoid additional expenses of up to $20 million over the next three years.