Oregon launches data center, virtualization initiatives

By Jim Duffy, Network World |  Virtualization

The state of Oregon is embarking on a data center consolidation and virtualization
project that officials say will save $10 million to $12 million per year.

The project, which costs $43 million, was started in 2005 with the construction
of a new data center in Salem, the state capital, in which 11 separate state
agency data centers serving 45,000 employees will be consolidated. The project
is scheduled to conclude in June 2009 with a new Gigabit Ethernet backbone and
virtual circuits replacing a frame relay network to support new applications
and a converged infrastructure.

It will mark the first time Oregon has standardized its data center and network
infrastructure architectures as well.

"Going to a shared service infrastructure for IT was going to significantly
reduce costs, as well as standardize the environment which is going to improve
quality," says Mark Reyer, administrator of the Oregon State Data Center
(SDC). "It will improve the cycle time and agility of the application programming
efforts to be able to develop on standard platforms."

Reyer spent 15 years with IBM directing the company's data center outsourcing
and consolidation business for Fortune 500 clients such as Allied-Signal and
United Technologies. With the Oregon SDC, Reyer is also looking to drive energy
efficiency and carbon emission reduction -- state managers expect to reduce
power consumption by 30%, with an additional 25% reduction upon completion of
server consolidation.

The data centers to be converted under the program belong to 11 state agencies,
including Administrative Services, Consumer and Business Services, Corrections,
Employment, Forestry, Housing and Community Services, Human Services, Oregon

State Police, Revenue, Transportation and Veterans' Affairs.

Oregon is standardizing on Cisco Catalyst 6500 and 3750 switches, 7200 and
2800 series routers (compare
router products
), and MDS storage area network switches. The state is also
implementing Cisco firewall, intrusion detection/prevention and network access
control products.

Oregon has no plans thus far to implement Cisco's VFrame Datacenter orchestration
product, which was introduced along with Cisco's Datacenter 3.0 release last
summer. VFrame and Datacenter 3.0 have been slow to gain market traction to
date. Data Center 3.0 is centered on virtualizing and orchestrating server,
storage and network provisioning resources to achieve cost and resource-provisioning
efficiencies.

"We're evaluating a lot of the data center newer releases but we're not
[implementing them] at this point," says Al Grapoli, network systems manager
at the SDC.

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