This article was originally published in State Tech Magazine.
In Rancho Cordova, Calif., a suburb just outside the state capital of Sacramento, the California Technology Agency’s Gold Camp Data Center houses an innovative partnership called the Federated Data Center (FDC).
Although the FDC is primarily a tenant-managed facility, tenants leverage a shared technology infrastructure that ensures redundancy, reliability and energy efficiency enabled by automation and high-density computing capabilities. They also have access to shared technology services.
While furthering the state’s technology strategy, the FDC was created to provide agencies with a means to meet statutory mandates that require the consolidation of mission-critical and public-facing applications within Tier III data center environments. In addition, this Tier III facility offers agencies a means to reduce both their data center footprint as well as the energy required to support their computing environments, advancing both the state’s fiscal and environmental policy priorities.
The idea for the FDC was first formed by the Data Center Working Group, which comprises California’s Technology Agency, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Prison Health Care Services and Department of Health Care Services. By working closely with these departments to determine their specific needs and requirements (and with data center experts within the state and private industry to determine the architecture for a state-of-the art data center), we were able to build a model not only for the FDC, but also for all future data centers in the state. A key result of this partnership is a modular approach that allows customers to build their requirements into the design of the computing environment, allowing California agencies to meet their mission-critical security and reliability requirements.
Since the FDC was launched in 2010, the computing environment has been built out and state agencies are in the process of migrating applications and infrastructure to the data center. Each tenant enjoys secure rack space with 10 kilowatts of redundant power per rack; a 20 gigabit secure network backbone; a virtual firewall in every rack; a storage area network to support Fibre Channel connectivity between servers and storage; and 24×7 support. Additional services include shared SAN storage, offsite disaster recovery services, onsite backup services, application and server monitoring, virtualization consulting services, and application performance-tuning services.
FDC provides the right balance between fully managed services and traditional collocation options. By leveraging a shared foundation, data center customers can continue to expect lower costs and higher availability and security. The state has been successful in reducing costs across its service catalog through shared-service efforts. Since 2005, shared services have reduced the cost of data center services by more than $75 million annually. One of the most significant areas of savings has been in open-systems storage, where costs have been reduced by 83 percent since 2009 — the equivalent of more than $8 million annually in rate reductions.
The bottom line is this: California state government is making smart investments in shared technology infrastructure that is capable of meeting our needs today, while being scalable for the future.