Unisys Corp. announced in July that it was chosen by the state of Pennsylvania to host a government cloud computing program. The project will involve consolidating seven separate Pennsylvania data centers used by state agencies into one secure cloud infrastructure.
Currently, state agencies are required to purchase the amount of hardware necessary to meet their data center needs ahead of time and equipment frequently ends up sitting idle. The new government-wide cloud will allow all of the executive branch agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction to access IT services as needed, increasing scalability and allowing organizations to use only the amount of capacity necessary to meet demand. The agreement with Unisys will eventually allow Pennsylvania to reduce operating costs while simultaneously increasing service delivery.
The seven Pennsylvania data centers being consolidated under the program include the Data Powerhouse and Enterprise Data Center, as well as the facilities belonging to the State Police, the Department of Health, the Department of Labor and Industry, the Department of Revenue and the Department of Public Welfare. When complete, the consolidation will be one of the “largest secure, cloud-based, on demand information technology computing implementations by a U.S. state government,” Unisys noted.
The state of Pennsylvania currently operates more than 53,00 square feet of raised floor data center space, with approximately 6,000 servers and 2,700 terabytes of storage. Pennsylvania has been receiving IT services from Unisys for 15 years and has already partnered with the company to consolidate an original 17 data centers to the existing seven.
Unisys will be in charge of operating the consolidated Pennsylvania data center, as well as a separate Virginia data center used for backup disaster recovery. The company signed a seven-year, $681 million contract with the state which includes three one-year renewal options.